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Stuart Hall trial: Broadcaster 'plied girls with alcohol and repeatedly raped them' in dressing room at BBC studios in Manchester

Hall denies 20 counts of sexual assault, including 15 of rape
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The former broadcaster and convicted paedophile Stuart Hall plied young girls with alcohol and raped them at the BBC’s studios in Manchester, a court has heard.

Hall, 84, allegedly treated two young girls who aspired to work in the TV industry as sexual “playthings”, abusing both their trust and that of their families, both of whom he knew.

The ex-BBC sports commentator and It’s A Knockout presenter denies 20 charges of sexual assault, including 15 of rape, involving two alleged victims in the mid- to late-1970s.

A jury at Preston Crown Court today heard how one of the girls was 14 when she received an invitation as a guest to the studios where Hall, then aged 47, worked. After filming Hall allegedly took the girl to his dressing room, gave her cigarettes, plied her with alcohol and then raped her.

Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said that over the course of the next 12 months the girl regularly went to the BBC studios where Hall would ply her with drink and, “once suitably disinhibited, he would rape her”. The jury heard that he would give her a lift home afterwards, and gave her money on occasions to treat herself, as he groomed her into “submitting to further sexual indignity”.

The court also heard how Hall allegedly raped another girl in a stables when she was “a pre-pubescent child” at 12 years old.

As the girl grew up, she too showed an interest in a TV career and she would go to the BBC studios in Manchester, where Hall would rape her in his dressing room, Mr Wright said.

Hall also raped the girl at a flat in Manchester city centre and even in the bed at his marital home while his wife was out, the court heard. “On occasions he would pour champagne on to her naked body and flatter her,” Mr Wright said. “He treated her as his plaything.”

For the defence, Hall’s barrister told the jury that “whatever his shortcomings”, the former broadcaster was not “a rapist”.

Crispin Aylett described the prosecution’s version of events as “one side of the coin”, adding that the other side was that the two alleged victims went “again and again” to Hall to be given alcohol and “submitted to yet another rape”.

“Is that how it was?” Mr Aylett asked.

“Let me say from the outset that none of this should have happened,” he said. “The girls were teenagers. The defendant was in his 40s and he had no one to blame but himself.

“But in what circumstances might a middle-aged man have a sexual relationship with a girl if she is under 16, outside it being rape?

“You might have been left with the impression that between rape and consensual sexual intercourse there is simply no forbidden area.

“Might there have been something in the middle?”

Last year, Hall, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, pleaded guilty at the same court to 14 offences of indecent assault against 13 girls or young women and was jailed for 15 months. The sentence was later increased to 30 months at the Court of Appeal.

Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault between 1978 and 1979 against the second girl when she was aged under 16.

The trial continues.