Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Stuart Hall abuse victims to sue

Victims of Stuart Hall are pursuing civil action

Victims of shamed veteran broadcaster Stuart Hall are pursuing civil action after he admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls.

The BBC star, who shot to fame presenting It's A Knockout, faces jail after pleading guilty to a string of offences against the girls, the youngest aged just nine, during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

The woman who was the first victim to make a formal complaint to police about Hall after being prompted by the Jimmy Savile scandal has spoken of how the TV presenter tricked her into trusting him before he sexually abused her.

Kim Wright waived her right to anonymity to reveal how Hall attacked her when she was 17.

She told the Daily Mail: "I was convinced I couldn't have been the only one and I felt it was my duty to report it, in case there was someone out there who daren't, someone who'd suffered more than me."

At the time Mrs Wright, now 45, did not complain because she feared she would be branded a 'troublemaker" and that people would think the assault was trivial. But her complaint last year prompted more victims to come forward and helped secure Hall's conviction.

Alan Collins, a partner at law firm Pannone and a specialist in sexual abuse cases, said he has been instructed by a number of Hall's victims to pursue civil cases in relation to injuries and harm suffered.

He said: "Hall's admission of guilt means we will be able to pursue these cases expeditiously on behalf of our clients. Victims often live with the memories of the abuse hidden away at the back of their minds for years and it is particularly brave of such victims to come forward and face those memories."

Hall, 83, was described as an ''opportunistic predator'' by Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for the North West, after he appeared at Preston Crown Court on Thursday.

Recorder of Preston Judge Anthony Russell QC granted him bail on condition of residence at his home address and no unsupervised contact with children.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz