Broadcaster Stuart Hall jailed for 15 months

Stuart Hall has been jailed for 15 months after pleading guilty to 14 counts of indecent assault. Photo: Lancashire Police

Veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall has been jailed for 15 months after admitting 14 counts of indecent assault, relating to 13 girls aged between nine and 17.

The 83-year-old had initially issued an impassioned public denial of any wrongdoing before he finally admitted his guilt at Preston Crown Court in May.

Today the disgraced former It's A Knockout presenter was labelled an "opportunistic predator" of his victims, who he targeted between 1967 and 1987.

ITV News UK Editor Lucy Manning reports:

Sentencing him, the Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC, said Hall was known to the public for his "genial personality" but there was "a darker side" to him.

He added:

Instead of maintaining a dignified silence or stating that you would make no comment, you chose to make a public statement to the effect that the allegations were false, describing them as 'spurious and pernicious' as was widely reported.

Although your guilty pleas have meant that your victims have not had to give evidence and relive their experiences in a court hearing, and they now know this, your earlier observations about their complaints, which you now accept were neither spurious nor pernicious, will have distressed them all, and it is clear from the victim statements that I have seen that your brazen attitude when first charged and the public protests of your innocence have added to the distress of some if not all of your victims.

When initially arrested last December, Hall told police his victims were all lying as part of a "vendetta going on against people in the public eye". But the publicity led to more women coming forward.

One of Hall's victims, who wants to remain anonymous, has spoken exclusively to ITV News. Tracy was 13-years-old when Hall assaulted her while she was staying at the home of a friend:

Tracy says she wasn't the only one who was targeted by Stuart Hall on that night:

Hall showed no emotion as he was led from the dock to begin his sentence.

He was given sentences ranging from three months to 15 months, all to run concurrently.

Judge Russell said Hall would have received 20 months after a trial but he reduced the sentence to reflect his guilty pleas.

The BBC is appalled that some of Stuart Hall's crimes took place in connection with his work at the BBC and offer an unreserved apology to the people he abused.

Dame Linda Dobbs is leading a detailed investigation into Hall's conduct at the BBC and her conclusions will be published as part of the Dame Janet Smith Review later this year.

– BBC statement

Dame Janet is carrying out a review of Jimmy Savile's actions while employed by the BBC.