BBC Veteran Stuart Hall's Sentence for Sex Offenses Doubled
LONDON -- The sentence of 15 months in prison for veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall, who has admitted to 14 sex offenses against young girls, has been doubled to 30 months by Court of Appeal judges.
Reports on the BBC website and Sky News, one of Rupert Murdoch's satellite channels, said the increase in time was handed down at a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
Hall admitted to 14 sex offenses against young girls and was sentenced to 15 months in prison earlier this year.
But that sentence was reviewed by England's Court of Appeal after complaints that the 83-year-old host "got off lightly." Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said Hall "got away with it" for decades and had "lived a lie for more than half of his life."
Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who decided to challenge the original sentence, told the courtroom that the 15-month sentence "failed adequately to reflect the gravity of the totality of the offenses and the public concern about offenses of this nature," according to reports.
After the verdict, Grieve said among the things he had asked the court to take into account when reviewing the sentence were breaches of trust, because Hall had carried out some offenses while on duty as a BBC presenter and celebrity.
Hall's counsel Crispin Aylett had argued there was "nothing wrong" with the sentence imposed.
The BBC is investigating claims Hall was able to abuse girls on its premises and appointed retired High Court Judge Linda Dobbs to lead an investigation into Hall’s conduct at the public broadcaster. Dobbs took up the review duties after Janet Smith confirmed that she would not be able to oversee this aspect of her review due to a potential conflict of interest.
Dobbs’ investigation will feed into Smith's ongoing review into the BBC’s culture and practices during the years that Jimmy Savile, the BBC stalwart presenter who became the focus of the worst sexual abuse scandal to hit the BBC, worked at the broadcaster. The BBC said Monday that Dobbs' conclusions about Hall "will be published as part of the Dame Janet Smith Review later this year."