Monday 21 October 2019

Disgraced broadcaster Stuart Hall transferred £1.2m home to wife

Paul Keaveny

DISGRACED broadcaster Stuart Hall could avoid a payout to his victims after signing over his £1.2m house to his wife, it was reported yesterday.

Hall made the transfer in February, just weeks before he admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, reports said.

Lawyer Alan Collins of Pannone, which is representing some of Hall's victims, labelled the move "cynical" and said he had been instructed to pursue civil action in relation to injuries and harm suffered.

Mr Collins said: "We have had more enquiries today which I will be following up over the weekend and next week. I am looking at all angles on culpability.

"I am looking at media reports that Hall has possibly moved assets and will take action as appropriate."

He added: "It's quite a common problem in cases like this, they put an asset in another person's name or even overseas. It is a cynical move, it shows contempt for the victims."

The former BBC It's A Knockout star said that he gave his wife, Hazel, full ownership of their home in Cheshire because he has a heart defect.

"I have got an extreme heart condition and at any moment I'm liable to pop off," he said.

Asked whether he would give his victims compensation, he said: "That's lawyer talk."

But in an interview with The Press Association in December 2011, following the news of his OBE and well before the child sex scandal, Hall was keen to portray himself as fit and healthy.

He said: "I'm 82. I'm 82 and still playing three sets of tennis every day, practically every day when I can. And I keep myself very fit.

"I think retirement is not an option for me. I don't want to retire. Most of my friends who have retired are nursing ailments and not using the little grey cells.

"I intend to go on and on and on and one day...collapse, when the score is Manchester City 2 Manchester United nil! Go out like a light."

Hall, who now faces jail, was described as an "opportunistic predator" by Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for the North West, after he appeared at Preston Crown Court on Thursday last.

The recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC, granted him bail on condition of residence at his home address and no unsupervised contact with children.

Irish Independent

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