1. ITV Report

Stuart Hall accused of being 'predator'

BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall was accused of being a child abuse "predator" today after he admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls.

Hall, 83, who had previously issued a fierce denial, entered the guilty pleas last month at Preston Crown Court but they could only be disclosed today after reporting restrictions were lifted.

ITV News' UK Editor Lucy Manning reports:

Today Hall was described as an "opportunistic predator" by Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for the North West, who said outside court: "His victims did not know each other and almost two decades separated the first and last assaults, but almost all of the victims, including one who was only nine at the time of the assault, provided strikingly similar accounts.

"Whether in public or private, Hall would first approach under friendly pretences and then bide his time until the victim was isolated. He can only be described as an opportunistic predator."

At the previous hearing on April 16, Hall calmly and repeatedly answered "guilty" when the charges were put to him. He stood in the dock as he uttered the single damning word which has now ruined his reputation.

A brief outline of the abuse suffered by three victims was outlined at an earlier hearing at Preston Magistrates' Court.

In the 1980s Hall molested a nine-year-old girl by putting his hand up her clothing. He also kissed a 13-year-old girl on the lips after he said to her: "People need to show thanks in other ways."

Hall was charged with those offences when he was arrested by Lancashire police on December 5.

Police confirmed today that publicity surrounding his initial arrest led to more victims coming forward, a fact likely to fuel the current debate over calls for defendants not to be named in such circumstances.

He was subsequently charged with abusing 10 more girls and the rape of a 22-year-old woman, between 1968 and 1986.

Today Recorder of Preston Judge Anthony Russell QC granted bail until his sentencing on June 17.