Stuart Hall the latest in UK sex scandalCurrent affairsNews
Former BBC presenter of the hit show It’s a Knockout, Stuart Hall, has pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct against girls as young as nine in the last 50 years of his career.
The 83-year-old broadcaster yesterday admitted to 14 offences dating back to the late 1960s involving 13 victims, including an assault on a nine-year-old girl.
He was arrested at his £1.2 million home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, last December but in February he protested his innocence and argued to clear his name of the “pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious” allegations.
However, the TV legend eventually pleaded guilty last month to the offences, which occurred between 1968 and 1986.
Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service North West, described Stuart as an “opportunistic predator”. He said: “We prosecuted Stuart Hall because the evidence of the victims clearly established a pattern of behaviour that was unlawful and for which no innocent explanation could be offered.”
Hall is due to be sentenced next month on 17th June at Preston Crown Court and could be jailed for up to ten years, becoming one of the country’s oldest inmates. The prosecutors have, however, dropped a rape charge against him after securing guilty pleas on the other counts.
Following his court session Mr Hall released a statement via his solicitor apologising to the public. The statement read: “Mr Hall deeply and sincerely regrets his actions. He wishes to issue an unreserved apology to the individuals concerned. He now accepts his behaviour and actions were completely wrong and he is very remorseful.”
Hall joined the BBC in 1959 and hosted British comedy game show It’s a Knockout which was a big hit in the 1970’s. He was awarded an OBE last year for his services and was working as a football reporter on BBC’s Radio 5 Live as well as writing a weekly sport column for the Radio Times Magazine until his arrest.
However, “he will now no longer be contracted by BBC,” said a BBC spokesperson.
BBC has expressed its sympathy to his victims and said: “We are appalled by the disgraceful actions of Stuart Hall and we would like to express our sympathy to his victims, and will continue to work with the police to assist them in this and any other inquiries they are making.”