Stuart Hall rape trial: Broadcaster a sexual 'predator'

Stuart Hall Stuart Hall presented the It's a Knockout TV show

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Broadcaster Stuart Hall was a "calculating and predatory man" who raped and sexually assaulted two girls, a jury has been told.

Mr Hall, 84, is on trial at Preston Crown Court facing 20 charges of rape and indecent assault against two girls between 1976 and 1981.

He has denied all charges.

In his closing speech Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said his denials were "ludicrous" and "psycho babble" and he was "guilty of each of the counts".

'Play my joker'

Start Quote

"You've seen the defendant in the dock wearing headphones like an ageing war criminal.”

End Quote Crispin Aylett QC Defence barrister

He told the jury Mr Hall had shown "not a single expression of remorse" throughout to his alleged victims whose youth was no bar to their "defilement".

Mr Wright told the jury Mr Hall "engineered circumstances" to get the girls alone, often in his BBC studios dressing room.

He told the court he then plied them with drink and "numbed" by alcohol, they were incapable of giving consent.

Mr Wright said Mr Hall had a "propensity" to sexually abuse young girls, using alcohol as a "precursor".

He told the court he was "a man who does not set boundaries to his conduct, but rather, who sets himself a challenge, the challenge of what risks he can take in his pursuit of sexual pleasure".

Crispin Aylett QC, defending, opened his closing speech, saying: "I'm now going to play my joker", in reference to the It's a Knockout TV show, which Mr Hall used to present.

'Prosecution becomes persecution'

He said the first of the two alleged victims, known only as Girl A, had only come forward because she wanted money from the defendant.

He told the jury: "She did, didn't she, go to her solicitor before going to the police.

"Why? Was it because she was principally interested in a claim for compensation?"

Mr Aylett told the court the trial was "not doing [Mr Hall's] health any good".

"You've seen the defendant in the dock wearing headphones like an ageing war criminal."

Artist's impression from Stuart Hall trial Mr Hall said sex was consensual apart from the alleged rape which did not happen

He concluded his speech by telling the court "the defendant has no one to blame but himself" but said he was "not a rapist".

"If the defendant was able to say one thing, this drowning man, just might ask rhetorically, when does prosecution become persecution?"

'Deafening silence'

The ex-BBC presenter, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, claims both girls consented to sex, but he did not give evidence.

Mr Wright said "because he did not make the walk from the dock to the witness box" there was a "deafening silence" from Mr Hall.

Girl A told the jury she was raped at BBC premises at Oxford Road and Piccadilly, both in Manchester.

Now 52, she told the court Mr Hall would sometimes give her money after raping her and then drive her home in his gold Rolls Royce.

The second alleged victim, known as Girl B, told the court she was first attacked by Mr Hall when she was 12 at stables in the mid-1970s.

She told the jury the presenter went on to rape her when she was aged 14 or 15 in his BBC dressing rooms at both Piccadilly and Oxford Road.

'Consensual sexual relationship'

Start Quote

A man who does not set boundaries to his conduct, but rather, who sets himself a challenge, the challenge of what risks he can take in his pursuit of sexual pleasure.”

End Quote Peter Wright QC Prosecuting barrister

Mr Hall said the rape at the stables did not take place while other sexual contact was consensual.

He admitted a charge of indecently assaulting her when she was 13 between January 1978 and January 1979 which was put to him before the latest trial started.

Mr Aylett said that under the law at the time, his client would have been charged with unlawful sex with a girl under 16.

Last year, Mr Hall was jailed for 15 months for 14 offences of indecent assault.

His sentence was later extended to 30 months at the Court of Appeal.

The trial continues.

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