Broadcaster will fight rape charge

Stuart Hall leaves Preston Magistrates' Court after pleading not guilty to the sexual abuse of young girls.
Stuart Hall leaves Preston Magistrates' Court after pleading not guilty to the sexual abuse of young girls.
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VETERAN broadcaster Stuart Hall has vowed to fight sex offence allegations and “regain my honour”, saying he had been through a “living nightmare” since the charges were brought.

Speaking outside Preston Magistrates’ Court, the 83-year-old former It’s A Knockout presenter said: “The last two months of my life have been a living nightmare.

“I have never gone through so much stress in my life.”

He thanked his “very loving family” for their support and said without it he might have considered taking his own life.

Hall was charged by Lancashire Police last month with one count of rape, allegedly committed in 1976 against a 22-year-old woman, and 14 offences of indecent assault against 10 girls aged between nine and 16, which allegedly took place between 1967 and 1986.

One of the charges relates to an alleged incident in Blackpool.

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

Speaking after his brief appearance in court, Hall told reporters: “I am not guilty and will be defending these accusations.

“The last two months of my life have been a living nightmare.

“Fortunately I have a very loving family and they are very supportive and I think but for their love I might have been constrained to take my own life.

“I shall be defending myself. I am 83 years old. I was a healthy 83-year-old, but I am now incubating a heart complaint and I’ll be very lucky to survive another couple of years.

“But I hope to survive those two years and regain my honour and reputation and more than ever, my life.”

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