UK & World News

  • 12 May 2014, 21:13

Stuart Hall Shuns Witness Box In Abuse Trial

Veteran broadcaster Stuart Hall has declined to give evidence at his rape trial.

The 84-year-old is accused of repeatedly raping two teenage girls in the 1970s.

The jury at Preston Crown Court were told that they could draw their own conclusions about why Hall has chosen not to enter the witness box.

They have previously been told that Hall does not dispute that he had sex with the two alleged victims but maintains it was consensual.

The two women, now in their 40s and 50s, told the court last week about the alleged abuse.

One women detailed how Hall first raped her when she was 12. She said the abuse continued until she was 15.

Both women say Hall would give them alcohol before forcing them to have sex.

In both cases the women claim he would sometimes take them to his dressing room at the BBC in Manchester to carry out the abuse.

The jury has heard how both girls came from families who knew and trusted Hall. Prosecuting barrister Peter Wright QC earlier told the jury how Hall "abused their trust by raping and indecently assaulting their children".

Hall is currently serving a 30-month jail term after last year admitting 14 indecent assault charges relating to 13 girls and young women.

The details of those offences were read to the jury who were told that Hall admitted the assaults only after publicly denouncing his accusers, calling them "liars".

The court also heard the initial 15-month sentence handed down to the former It's A Knockout presenter was later doubled by the Court of Appeal. Following his conviction Hall was stripped of his OBE.

The court earlier heard that when Hall was arrested on suspicion of the new offences of rape in October 2013 he initially made no comment.

He then provided a statement to police which stated that he had taken legal advice to not answer any police questions.

It read: "I am surprised by the nature of their allegations and I deny them.

"I am concerned that they have been made only after I pleaded guilty to a number of offences and then was sentenced to a term of imprisonment."

The statement concluded: "It is of serious concern that these two complainants have waited nearly 12 months after I was arrested to make their allegation and in the light of extensive media coverage I do not think it possible to have a fair trial."

Hall denies 15 counts of rape and 5 indecent assaults.

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