Jailed: Former North West BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall sentenced to 15 months over child sex offences

By Glen Keogh

Former It’s A Knockout presenter and football commentator Stuart Hall was jailed for 15 months this afternoon over a catalogue of historic child sex charges.

A brief outline of each his horrific crimes were read out at Preston Crown Court, with some victims sitting in the public gallery.

He was said to have sexually abused one drunk 13-year-old girl in ‘a frenzied maul’ while she was having a bath and being sick.

The 83-year-old former BBC Radio 5 Live broadcaster was charged with indecently assaulting 13 girls between 1967 and 1986 – the youngest aged just nine.

The offences took place over a number of years, with the last committed in 1986.

Defending Hall, his barrister said he had identified a problem in 1986, and stopped offending, citing the abuse as ‘a crime of a different time’.

Hall met one 13-year-old victim at a family friend’s party, where she got drunk.

The prosecution said she was sick but he kissed and groped her as she cleaned up the bathroom, while he told her she was ‘beautiful and gorgeous’.

Another of his victims, this time aged 10, was assaulted at his home after he invited her to swim in his pool.

He gave her steak and champagne and asked her to cuddle him ‘like she would one of her teddies’.

Three other victims, aged between 11 and 14 years old were invited to elocution lessons at Hall’s home.

He told them to get a bath to get relaxed, then walked into the bathroom and told them to put on men’s shirts but no underwear.

Victims described their anger at Hall vehemently denying the accusations outside court, which he called ‘pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious’, before pleading guilty in a later hearing.

Causing some controversy, Patricia Macmillan from children’s charity NSPCC provided a statement in support of Hall’s charity work, as did Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan.

The statement from Ms Manning was quickly described by the charity as ‘a volunteer’s personal views’ and not views representing the NSPCC.

Sentencing Hall, the judge said there was a degree of planning and premeditation in some of the cases, and took the ‘cumulative’ effect of the offences into account. 

The judge said Hall abused his position as a BBC broadcaster to sexually abuse underage girls and his public protests of innocence only added to the victim’s distress. 

However, he also added that Hall’s age was an important factor to take into account. 

More to follow.

Image courtesy of Channel 4 News, via YouTube, with thanks.

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