Saturday 22 November 2014

Paedophile Stuart Hall is cleared of 15 rape charges

Kim Pilling

Published 17/05/2014 | 02:30

Stuart Hall, who has pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to one charge of indecent assault on a girl under 16 but will face trial for multiple rapes involving two alleged victims. Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Stuart Hall, who has pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to one charge of indecent assault on a girl under 16 but will face trial for multiple rapes involving two alleged victims. Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Paedophile broadcaster Stuart Hall could be out of jail within the next two years after he was cleared of 15 counts of rape.

Hall (84), faced a string of historical allegations made by two women who claimed they were sexually assaulted by him on various dates between 1976 and 1981 when they were aged between 12 and 16.

The former 'It's A Knockout' presenter and BBC Radio 5 Live football match summariser was convicted of indecently assaulting one of the complainants when she was under 16 and pleaded guilty at the beginning of his trial to another count of indecent assault on the same girl when she was 13.

But the jury of eight women and four men at Preston Crown Court found Hall not guilty of all the counts of rape he faced and also four other counts of indecent assault he had denied.

Hall did not give evidence at his trial but his defence team did not dispute that he had sexual intercourse with both complainants – including at two BBC television studios in Manchester – and argued that it was consensual.

The prosecution tried Hall under the Sexual Offences Act 1956, which applied at the time the offences were said to have taken place.

Hall's barrister Crispin Aylett QC told jurors that if Hall had been investigated for the offences at the time, he would have been guilty of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 16, but that charge could not be brought retrospectively as there was a 12-month limit from the time of the offence when a complaint could be made.

Hall will be sentenced next Friday for two offences of indecent assault, for which he could receive a maximum of two years in jail on each count, but he will receive some credit for pleading guilty to one of the offences, which would lessen any term of imprisonment.

The charge he admitted related to an incident at a dinner party where he crept into the bedroom of his victim and assaulted her.

Press Association

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