Veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall denies sex abuse charges

'It's A Knockout' star appeared at Preston Magistrates Court to face three counts of indecent assault committed between 1974 and 1984

The veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall has appeared in court accused of sexually abusing three girls between the ages of nine and seventeen.

The 83-year-old star, famous for presenting 'It's A Knockout', appeared at Preston Magistrates Court to face three counts of indecent assault committed between 1974 and 1984

Hall, who gave his full name as James Stuart Hall, pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Hall was asked by the clerk of the court if he understood that he faced three separate charges of indecent assault and if he wanted to enter a plea.

He replied: "Yes I do. Not guilty to all three charges."

Hall was allowed to sit down in the witness box while further details of the charges were given.

Following an investigation by Lancashire Police Mr Hall was arrested at his home in Wilmslow Cheshire on December 5.

Outlining the charges the prosecution said Hall is alleged to have fondled the breast of one girl, then aged 16 or 17, between September 1, 1974 and December 31, 1974 in Blackpool.

On a second occasion he is alleged to have molested a nine-year-old girl by touching some time between January 1, 1983 and December 31, 1983 and the third alleged indecent assault is that he kissed a 13-year-old girl on the lips, on an occasion between July 1, 1984 and September 27, 1984.

None of the alleged victims can be named for legal reasons.

District Judge Ward granted Hall bail on condition that he lives at his home address in Prestbury Road in Wilmslow, Cheshire, and that he has no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 17.

Hall was bailed until April 16 for a next appearance at Preston Crown Court.

Hall, who was first arrested on December 5 following an investigation by Lancashire Police, left the court building after the brief hearing, followed by TV cameras, photographers and reporters.

He has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century and was last year awarded an OBE.

His eccentric and erudite football match summaries have made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live.

The BBC said Hall would not be working at the corporation while he faced the allegations.

Hall was was bailed until April 16 for a next appearance at Preston Crown Court.

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