EX-BBC man cleared of rapes

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iol news pic Stuart Hall AP Veteran former BBC TV and radio presenter Stuart Hall was cleared of raping two girls but was convicted of indecent assault. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

London - Veteran former BBC TV and radio presenter Stuart Hall was cleared on Friday of raping two girls but was convicted of indecent assault.

Hall, 84, mouthed “thank you” to the jury at Preston Crown Court in northwest England at the end of the two-week trial as he was led away to the cells to continue serving his sentence for earlier sexual offences.

He was cleared of 15 rapes and four other indecent assaults at the end of his second trial.

The jury found him guilty of one count of indecent assault and he had pleaded guilty to one other count on the same charge at the start of the trial.

Hall will be sentenced next Friday.

The former presenter of “It's A Knockout” who later became an eccentric football match summariser for BBC radio was not due to be released from prison until September, but his sentence could now be lengthened.

The broadcaster - who was in his 40s at the time of the allegations - told the court the sex with the girls in their mid-teens was consensual.

Many of the encounters were at BBC studios in Manchester where Hall presented the corporation's regional news programme.

Hall is one of a string of British celebrities of the 1970s and 1980s to face investigation for sexual offences, in the wake of the revelation that one of the BBC's biggest stars, Jimmy Savile, was a prolific child sex offender.

Sapa-AFP


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