Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Appeal over Hall sex case sentence

Stuart Hall's sentence is being referred to the Court of Appeal

Stuart Hall - who was jailed for 15 months for a string of sex charges - will see his sentence referred to the Court of Appeal for being unduly lenient, the Attorney General's Office (AGO) has said.

The disgraced presenter, 83, previously admitted at Preston Crown Court 14 counts of indecent assault against girls as young as nine between 1967 and 1987.

More than 150 people came forward to demand that the Attorney General's Office considers the It's A Knockout presenter's sentence for referral.

An AGO spokeswoman said: "Having carefully reviewed this case, the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, has decided to refer the sentence of Stuart Hall to the Court of Appeal for review.

"The case will in due course be heard by three Court of Appeal judges who will decide whether or not the sentence is unduly lenient and whether they should increase the sentence."

Hall directly exploited his role as a popular BBC presenter to target four of his victims, while he assaulted another four on the pretence of giving elocution lessons to them at his home.

Before entering his guilty plea in April, he had made a public pronouncement on the steps of a court, describing all the claims against him as "cruel, pernicious and spurious".

Hall, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, was arrested and subsequently charged on December 5 last year with indecently assaulting three young girls. More women came forward as a result of publicity and Hall was rearrested before he later admitted the sexual offences.

The length of the jail term was immediately criticised as "unduly lenient" by shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry, who urged Mr Grieve to look at the matter.

The Court of Appeal usually lists cases referred for being unduly lenient in about five to seven weeks.

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