Stuart Hall on trial on sex assault charges

Former BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall is on trial, facing 20 historical sex assault charges against him.

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Stuart Hall jury will retire tomorrow

Stuart Hall is standing trial at Preston Crown Court Credit: PA

The jury in the rape trial of veteran broadcaster Stuart Hall will retire to consider its verdicts tomorrow.

Hall, 84, denies 20 historical allegations of rape and indecent assault involving two girls on various dates from 1976 to 1981.

He is currently serving a 30-month jail term after he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting 13 different girls, one as young as nine, over a period of nearly 20 years.

Stuart Hall had enjoyed a distinguished career in broadcasting. Credit: PA

He was taken from custody last October and questioned about allegations from the two complainants who came forward after his conviction.

The Crown says Hall, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, was "a predatory and calculating opportunist" and the age of his two victims was not "a bar to their defilement".

Many of the encounters were at BBC television studios in Manchester, where Hall presented the corporation's regional news programme.

The defendant was said to have plied both girls with alcohol on both premises and then took advantage of them when they were aged between 13 and 16.

Apart from one alleged incident when Hall was said to have raped one of the complainants when she thought she was 12, the broadcaster - who was then in his mid-40s - said the sex with the girls in their mid-teens was consensual.

The jury was told Hall was stripped of his OBE following his convictions last year. Credit: PA

Both girls and their families are known to the defendant.

Hall chose not to give evidence from the witness box as his defence team questioned whether the case was "a persecution" rather than a prosecution.

At the beginning of the trial he admitted indecently assaulting one of the complainants in her bedroom when she was aged at least 13.

But he denied raping the same girl in a stable when she was aged under 13 as his defence said she had a false memory of an incident that never took place.

Some alleged offences are said to have taken place at the former BBC studios in Manchester city centre. Credit: PA

Mr Justice Turner summed up the case today to the jury of eight women and four men.

He told them: "Inevitably this case has generated a considerable amount of media attention but you must try this case on the evidence presented to you at this trial and no other source.

Preston Crown Court Credit: PA

"Your job is to decide this case in an objective and dispassionate analysis of the evidence."

The judge is expected to conclude his summing up tomorrow morning.

Hall was initially given a 15-month prison term last June but the Court of Appeal ruled the sentence was "inadequate" and it was doubled a month later.

The married father of two, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, was stripped of his OBE for broadcasting and charity in the wake of his convictions.

The former It's a Knockout presenter was a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century, and his eccentric and erudite football match summaries made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Judge tells Hall jury to prepare for deliberations

Mr Justice Turner told the jury he intends to conclude his summing up tomorrow and he'll then send them out to consider verdicts.

The former Its a Knock Out presenter is currently serving 30 months jail sentence after admitting indecently assaulting 13 girls, the youngest just nine.

The judge told the jury their job is "to consider the evidence they have heard in this trial and not what they have previously heard about Mr Hall".

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Hall's silence "not an admission of guilt" - Judge

In summing up in the trial of veteran broadcaster Stuart Hall, the judge Mr Justice Turner told the jury his silence in court "is not an admission of guilt".

The jury of 8 women and 4 men were told the 84 has "an absolute right" not to give evidence.

Stuart Hall denies 15 counts of rape and 5 counts of indecent assault.

He has admitted one count of indecent assault on one of the alleged victims.

  1. Mel Barham

Stuart Hall defence: he has right to give evidence

Stuart Hall faces 20 charges Credit: PA Images

Our correspondent Mel Barham sen this from Preston Crown Court on the trial of Stuart Hall:

Defence tells the jury: "No doubt you would have liked to have heard from (the defendant) buthe has a right not to give evidence because the burden remains on the prosecution to prove it's case."

Being in prison, the defence QC continued, has not done Stuart Hall's health any good. 'You've seen him in the dock with his headphones on like an ageing war criminal. What might have been in store for the defendant if he had gone into the witness box?'

"The defendant has no one to blame but himself but he's not a rapist. I don't ask you to find him not guilty based on sympathy for the defendant but on the evidence. This drowning man might just ask rhetorically, when does prosecution become persecution."

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Hall defence QC: alleged victim has 'rewritten her own story'

Stuart Hall is on trial at Preston Crown Court Credit: PA Images

Our correspondent Mel Barham is in court as the defence continues summing up in the trial of Stuart Hall. The defence QC has told the jury "I suggest whether a result of therapy or not" (one of the alleged victims has) "rewritten her own story and now believes it."

Crispin Aylett then asked the jury: "So is she telling herself and you the truth? Shewasn't was she."

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