7 Jan 2013

Stuart Hall pleads not guilty to abuse charges

Veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall has pleaded not guilty to the sexual abuse of young girls between 1974 and 1984.

Stuart Hall, an 82-year-old former TV presenter, was in the dock at Preston magistrates court facing three counts of indecent assault against three girls, aged between eight and 17.

Mr Hall was asked by the court if he understood that he faced three separate charges of indecent assault and if he wanted to enter a plea. He replied: “Yes, I do. Not guilty to all three charges.”

The It’s A Knockout star is accused of indecently assaulting a woman aged 16 or 17 in 1974, the indecent assault of a girl aged eight or nine between in 1983, and the indecent assault of a girl aged 13 in 1984.

The charges 
In the first charge he is alleged to have fondled the breast of one girl, then aged 16 or 17, between 1 September 1974 and 31 December 1974.
On a second occasion he is alleged to have molested a nine-year-old girl by touching some time between 1 January 1983 and 31 December 1983.
In the the third it is alleged that he kissed a 13-year-old girl on the lips, on an occasion between 1 July 1984 and 27 September 27 1984.

Hall was held after an investigation by Lancashire police after being arrested at his home in Prestbury Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, on 5 December.

Speaking through his solicitor, he has affirmed that he is innocent and denied the allegations.

Hall has had a career in British broadcasting for over half a century and was awarded an OBE last year. In 1999 50 members of parliament signed a House of Commons motion congratulating Hall on his 40 years in broadcasting, calling him “icon with the youth of today”.

His football match summaries made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live, but the BBC have said Hall will not be working at the corporation while he faces the allegations.