Stuart Hall admits indecently assaulting underage girls

Stuart Hall has admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls, the youngest aged nine.

The BBC broadcaster, 83, entered the guilty pleas last month at Preston Crown Court, but they can only be revealed today after reporting restrictions were lifted. The sex offences took place between 1967 and 1986.

Despite previous vociferous public denials of any wrongdoing, Hall calmly and repeatedly answered ‘guilty’ when the charges were put to him at the hearing on April 16.

Sat in front of the dock with his legal representatives, he confirmed his full name of James Stuart Hall to the clerk in the plea hearing. He then stood up as he uttered the single damning word which has now ruined his reputation.

The Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC, told him he would be required to sign the Sex Offenders Register. He was told a notice which he needed to fill in would be sent to his home in Cheshire within days.

A brief outline of the abuse suffered by three of his victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was outlined at an earlier hearing at Preston Magistrates’ Court. Hall was charged with those three offences on the same day as was arrested by Lancashire Constabulary on December 5 last year.

The BBC said at the time that the former It’s A Knockout presenter, a regular football match summariser on Radio 5 Live, would not work for the corporation until the matter was resolved. He was subsequently charged with historic sex offences against 10 more girls and the rape of a 22-year-old woman.

Hall was granted bail until his sentencing date on June 17. Judge Russell told him that all sentencing options remain open including immediate custody.

Hall’s barrister, Crispin Aylett QC, said: “The defendant is, of course, sorry for what he has done. Through me he wishes to apologise to his victims. He is not a man easily moved to self pity, but he is only too aware his disgrace is complete.”

An order made under Section 4(2) of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 was lifted today so that the pleas could be reported, to avoid prejudicing a possible future trial on a count of rape and three separate counts of indecent assault which Hall had denied last month. Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said the Crown was satisfied those four counts could lie on file after it was given consideration at ‘the most senior level’ of the Crown Prosecution Service.

 

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