Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Hall 'innocent of abuse charges'

Stuart Hall's solicitor said the veteran broadcaster is innocent of child abuse charges

Veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall is innocent of child abuse charges brought against him, his solicitor has said.

The 82-year-old former It's A Knockout star is accused of indecently assaulting three girls aged between nine and 16 on various dates between 1974 and 1984.

He was initially arrested at his home on Wednesday on suspicion of rape and a further allegation of indecent assault, for which he has been released without charge.

A statement issued by Louise Straw, of lawyers Burton Copeland, said: "Stuart Hall is innocent of these charges.

"He is unable to comment further at this stage. It is a matter of concern that, in the week following the publication of the Leveson Report, there appears to have been systematic measured leaks to the media which have given a misleading impression of what this case is about.

"Stuart Hall was not afforded the opportunity to attend voluntarily at the police station. In due course, the decision that he should be arrested will be the subject of some scrutiny.

"Stuart Hall is innocent. There will be a trial and his defence will then be in the public domain."

Hall, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, has been bailed to appear at Preston Magistrates' Court on January 7.

He has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century and was this year awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours. His eccentric and erudite football match summaries have made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live.

The BBC said Hall would not be working at the corporation while the police inquiry was ongoing.

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