UK & World News

  • 14 May 2014, 15:34

Hall's Silence In Sex Abuse Trial 'Is Relevant'

Jurors in the trial of former broadcaster Stuart Hall have been told the defendant's decision not to go into the witness box is relevant.

Judge Mr Justice Turner QC told them they were entitled to consider whether Hall's silence was because he had no answer to the prosecution.

But he also said that they could not jump to the conclusion that it proved the case against him.

The judge was summing up at the end of a seven-day trial in which the 84-year-old ex-presenter has pleaded not guilty to 15 charges of rape and five of indecent assault.

He has pleaded guilty to one charge of indecent assault.

Hall, 84, is currently serving a 30-month prison sentence after admitting 14 indecent assault charges in a separate case last year.

Mr Justice Turner reminded the jury of Hall's previous convictions and that the prosecution and defence had disagreed about whether they showed he was more likely to have committed the offences in the current case.

Two women have given evidence at Preston Crown Court saying they were abused as children after being plied with alcohol by Hall who was trusted by their families.

They claim they were raped in his BBC dressing room in Manchester and at several other locations including Hall's own home.

Hall claims the sex, which took place between 1976 and 1981, was consensual.