UK & World News
Stuart Hall Has Prison Sentence Doubled
Disgraced former broadcaster Stuart Hall's 15-month jail sentence for sex offences has been doubled to 30 months by Court of Appeal judges.
At the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said Hall "got away with it" for decades and had "lived a lie for more than half of his life".
Attorney General Dominic Grieve had earlier told the packed courtroom: "The total sentence of 15 months' imprisonment ... failed adequately to reflect the gravity of the totality of the offences, and the public concern about offences of this nature.
"Some of the sentences should have been made to run consecutively, so that the total sentence passed reflected the culpability of the offender, the harm caused and to deter others."
After the verdict, Mr Grieve said: "I asked the court to consider the multiple offending by Stuart Hall over a prolonged period of time which involved numerous victims.
"I also asked that the court take into account the breaches of trust in this case - Hall carried out some of these offences in places where the victims were entitled to feel safe, he used his celebrity status to invite them to attend the BBC, and he also displayed an element of planning and premeditation".
Hall, 83, who appeared in court via video link, was convicted of sexually assaulting several girls the youngest of whom was nine. The former It's A Knockout presenter was sentenced to 15-months in June.
Hall's QC Crispin Aylett had argued there was "nothing wrong" with the sentence imposed. He told the court: "If the object was to see this man punished, disgraced and financially ruined then all of that has been more than achieved."
The former broadcaster, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, admitted 14 counts of indecent assault between 1967 and 1987.
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 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 he was rearrested before he later admitted sexual offences relating to 13 victims.
Judge Russell told Hall: "Several of these cases reveal an abuse of the trust placed in you by the parents of these children but all of them reveal an abuse of power by you because your status gave you an influence and standing which you abused."
The judge said Hall would have received 20 months after a trial but he reduced the sentence to reflect his guilty pleas.
At Hall's original sentencing, Mr Aylett said that 27 years had passed since the last offence and the presenter had led an "unblemished" life over those years.
The length of the jail term was immediately criticised as "unduly lenient" by shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry.
Harriet Harman, deputy leader of the Labour party, also added to calls for the sentence to be referred.