BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall pleads guilty to sex charges

Thursday 02 May 2013 23.39
Stuart Hall answered 'guilty' when the charges were put to him at the hearing on 16 April
Stuart Hall answered 'guilty' when the charges were put to him at the hearing on 16 April

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

Hall, 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.

The BBC said it would not be featuring Hall again in its programmes.

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 16 April.

He confirmed his full name of James Stuart Hall to the clerk in the plea hearing, as he sat in front of the dock with his legal representatives,

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 that 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.

In the 1980s, Hall molested a nine-year-old girl by putting his hand up her clothing.

He also kissed a 13-year-old girl on the lips after he said to her: "People need to show thanks in other ways."

On another occasion in the 1970s, he fondled the breast of a girl aged 16 or 17.

Hall was charged with those three offences on the same day when he was arrested by Lancashire Constabulary on 5 December 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 ten more girls and the rape of a 22-year-old woman.

Following those allegations, Hall read out a strident condemnation to reporters in which he labelled the claims as "pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious".

He said he had endured "a living nightmare" and but for his "very loving family" may have considered taking his own life.

Hall has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century and was awarded an OBE in the 2012 New Year Honours.

His eccentric and erudite football match summaries made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live.

He also wrote a weekly sport column for the Radio Times magazine up until his arrest.