Six more women say they were abused by Stuart Hall
Lawyers expecting more claims as calls grow for disgraced presenter to lose OBE
Six more women have contacted solicitors to claim they were abused by Stuart Hall with victims lining up to sue the disgraced presenter and one MP calling for him to be stripped of his OBE.
Alan Collins, a partner at law firm Pannone and a specialist in sexual abuse cases, said while new claims were still to be investigated, he expected they would be the first of many.
“We had a number of calls and six women phone us with allegations. It is early days and we have to meet them, but it looks like the effect of Hall pleading guilty,” he said. He added that he had already been instructed by some of the victims to sue the former It’s A Knockout presenter.
Rob Wilson, the Reading East MP, led the way in saying the former football pundit, commentator and television presenter should now be stripped of his OBE, which was awarded to him last year for services to charity and broadcasting by the Queen.
He said: “It is right that he should lose his OBE. He was using his celebrity status to act as a paedophile. We should not be rewarding that type of behaviour.”
The developments came as the BBC faced questions about its conduct. Several victims of the 83-year-old - who on Thursday admitted 14 offences involving 13 victims dating back to the late 1960s, including an assault on a nine-year-old girl - claimed that they were assaulted at the corporation’s Manchester studios.
The Independent reported yesterday how police first investigated Hall after one of his victims wrote to the newspaper, claiming: “Stuart took me to his dressing room, where he gave me plenty of champagne before having sex with me (In his dressing room, in the BBC studios).”
After the Jimmy Savile sex assault scandal, the BBC instructed Dame Janet Smith to conduct an independent review of the culture and practices at the corporation during the years he worked there. That review may now be widened to hear from Hall’s victims.
Separately it is understood there are at least three BBC employees are still currently the subject of police investigations.
The corporation said that, so far, it had found no written record of complaints of a sexual nature being made against Stuart Hall but it would pass any allegations to police or the Dame Janet Smith Review.
Liz Dux, of Slater and Gordon, which is representing dozens of Savile victims suing the BBC, said Hall was “very forceful” in his denial of the charges at first, but more women coming forward after he was named had helped the conviction.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is currently revising guidance on naming suspects so that none are named at the point of arrest, but Ms Dux said the Hall and Savile cases showed police must publish names.
“We accept suspects have rights but they have the criminal justice system and there is a high burden of proof to bring an investigation,” she said, “But we have to come down on the side of the victims.”
An ACPO spokesman said: “The accepted guidance should be not to name on arrest unless there’s a reason to do so, to prevent or deter crime. A decision to name could be taken if there’s a benefit in naming the person.”
The new guidance will be voted on eventually by a debated by a College of Police committee before a committee of chief constables debate on the plans later this Summer.
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