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LONDON – Veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall has admitted guilt for a string of historic sex offenses against girls.
The 83-year-old presenter’s confession to the crimes come three months after dismissing the allegations as “pernicious, callous, cruel and, above all, spurious.”
Hall’s admission that his accusers had been telling the truth hit the headlines and airwaves Thursday in the U.K.
The story led news bulletins across the British media.
The Crown Prosecution Service, which brought the case against Hall, described the former TV presenter as an “opportunistic predator.”
Hall was accused of sexually abusing 13 victims aged between 9 and 17 in incidents between 1968 and 1986.
Hall, who was suspended by the BBC in December last year from his radio duties when the allegations first arose, was sacked by the corporation Thursday with immediate effect.
It has emerged that Hall first made the admissions of guilt at a brief hearing in April, but it could not be reported because he was facing trial over an allegation that he raped a 22-year-old woman in 1976. That charge is being dropped after it was decided the alleged victim should not have to face going to court.
Hall will be sentenced June 17 and is released on bail.
TV pictures show Hall being mobbed by the media on exiting court, refusing to answer questions.
A BBC spokesperson said in a statement: “The BBC is appalled by the disgraceful actions of Stuart Hall, and we would like to express our sympathy to his victims. We will continue to work with the police to assist them in this and any other inquiries they are making.”
A report in The Guardian said the BBC also is working with the police to discover whether any of the offenses took place on BBC premises.
Hall has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for a half a century, having presented 1970s show It’s a Knockout and until recently working as a soccer commentator on BBC Radio 5 Live. He also wrote a weekly sport column for the Radio Times magazine until his arrest.
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