Manchester

Stuart Hall released from prison halfway through sentence

Stuart Hall Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stuart Hall was jailed in 2013 after pleading guilty to a number of assaults

The former broadcaster Stuart Hall has been released from jail after serving half of his sentence for sexual abuse.

The It's a Knockout presenter was imprisoned in 2013 after admitting indecently assaulting 13 girls - one as young as nine - between 1967 and 1985.

His sentence was extended in 2014 when he pleaded guilty to two counts of indecently assaulting a teenage girl.

Hall, 85, previously worked for BBC Radio 5 live and presented the BBC's regional north west news programme.

His original 15-month sentence in 2013 was doubled by the Court of Appeal after the judge said it had been "unduly lenient" given the impact on his victims.

Hall, who lived in Wilmslow, Cheshire, received an additional two years and six months over the later charges.

The Ministry of Justice said: "Offenders automatically released on licence at the halfway point of their sentence are subject to strict controls.

"If they fail to comply with these conditions, or their behaviour indicates it is no longer safe for them to remain in the community, they can be immediately returned to prison."

Image caption Hall worked as a sports commentator for BBC Radio 5 live, and hosted the comedy game show It's a Knockout for more than a decade
Image caption Hall pictured in 1969 presenting the North West edition of BBC Look North in Manchester

The broadcaster was initially arrested in December 2012, when he made a statement labelling the claims against him as "pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious".

But Preston Crown Court heard Hall was an "opportunistic predator" who used his fame to befriend girls.

Judge Anthony Russell QC said Hall had a "darker side" and took advantage of his "status as a well-liked celebrity".

Among Hall's victims was a 16-year-old girl he had presented with an award at a school prize-giving.

He later bought her a drink in a pub before sexually assaulting her in his car, the court heard.

In the 1980s Hall molested a nine-year-old girl by putting his hand up her clothing.

He also kissed a 13-year-old girl on the lips after saying to her: "People need to show thanks in other ways."

Hall was stripped of his OBE by the Queen after he was imprisoned.

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