Saturday 21 October 2017

Disgraced presenter Hall's sentence for sex attacks doubled

Stuart Hall: 'got away with it' for decades, judges said
Stuart Hall: 'got away with it' for decades, judges said

Paul Peachey

BRITISH Broadcaster Stuart Hall's prison sentence for indecently assaulting 13 girls has been doubled to 30 months after the Court of Appeal ruled that his original punishment was inadequate.

The disgraced former presenter of 'It's A Knockout' was told by judges yesterday that he had "got away with it" for decades, through crimes committed over 18 years from 1968, and lived a lie for more than half of his life.

Hall was also criticised for his denials of any wrongdoing after branding claims by his accusers as "cruel, pernicious and spurious", before he performed a U-turn in May to admit 14 counts of indecent assault of children as young as nine.

"He did plead guilty but not before he had publicly and deliberately attacked the victims," said the Lord Chief Justice Igor Judge.

Hall (83) kept his head bowed as he listened to proceedings via videolink from Preston prison and showed no reaction to the decision. The hearing followed 165 complaints about the length of his original sentence, after Hall secured a reduction of five months by pleading guilty.

Dominic Grieve, the UK Attorney General, told the court that the sentence was unduly lenient and should be extended to reflect Hall's culpability, the harm caused to victims and to deter others.

Fresh allegations have emerged against the presenter, who was described as an opportunistic predator. Lancashire Police said it was working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service over further allegations of sex crimes against children.

In echoes of the Jimmy Savile case, the judge said Hall's career had put him in a position of trust that he was then able to exploit and must have seemed a "figure of power and authority and influence" who was effectively "untouchable".

Counsel for Hall had argued that his client had been punished, disgraced and financially ruined. He said Hall was not in "robust health" and shared a cell, sleeping in a bottom bunk bed. (© Independent News Service)

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