Solicitor of presenter Stuart Hall denies indecent assault

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Louise Straw, a solicitor representing UK television and radio presenter Stuart Hall, has said Hall is innocent of charges of indecent assault. In relation to complaints about alleged events between 1974 and 1984 involving three females between eight and seventeen years of age, Hall was charged with three counts of indecent assault after being arrested Wednesday.

Hall, who has been released on bail, is expected to appear at Preston Magistrates' Court on January 7.

Saying Hall was not able to provide any additional comment at present, Straw criticised the apparent "systematic, measured leaks to the media, which have given a misleading impression of what this case is about." She stressed it was "a matter of concern" given the recent release of the Leveson Report. Straw also said because police arrested Hall at his residence in the town of Wilmslow in Cheshire, he "was not afforded the opportunity to attend voluntarily at the police station. In due course, the decision that he should be arrested will be the subject of some scrutiny".

John Dilworth of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was "sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and ... it is in the public interest to prosecute this case." Stating Hall was innocent, Straw explained: "There will be a trial and his defence will then be in the public domain."

Hall — who has recently been featuring as an association football commentator on BBC Radio 5 Live — will not be working at the BBC as police inquiries continue because of "the very serious nature of these charges", a spokesperson for the corporation has said.

Hall, who notably presented UK game show It's a Knockout, was given an OBE at the New Year Honours for services to charity and broadcasting. His broadcasting career has lasted some fifty years.