Sunday, 7 July 2013

Call for victims of Paedophile BBC presenter Stuart Hall to come forward

 Stuart Hall: ex-judge to investigate BBC sex assault allegations

Independent inquiry into It's a Knockout presenter  and Sports presenters career at the BBC  will report to wider review of Jimmy Savile scandal

Stuart Hall: a judge is to investigate the allegations about the former presenter's time at the BBC. Photograph: Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images
A retired high court judge is to investigate allegations that Stuart Hall committed sexual assault during his five-decade career at the the BBC.
Hall was described as an "opportunistic predator" by prosecutors in May after he admitted a string of historic sex offences against girls.
The independent investigation into the It's a Knockout host's conduct during his time at the corporation will be carried out by Dame Linda Dobbs, a retired high court judge and former chair of the Criminal Bar Association. The inquiry will encompass Hall's career at the BBC between 1958 and 2013.
Dobbs will report her findings to the wider review by Dame Janet Smith set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.
The Smith review is examining sexual harassment complaints within the culture and practices of the BBC during the Savile era. More than 600 witnesses have been spoken to since the review began in October.
"Dame Linda Dobbs' investigation will feed into the Dame Janet Smith review into the BBC's culture and practices during the years that Jimmy Savile worked at the corporation. The findings in the Stuart Hall investigation will help form part of Dame Janet Smith's overarching conclusions," the BBC said in a statement.
Dobbs, who became the first black high court judge when she was appointed in 2004, took over the Hall probe after Smith reported a potential conflict of interest as she knows a former BBC executive who was working in Manchester at the same time as the presenter.
On Tuesday, solicitors for the Smith review said the Hall investigation and complications in dealing with witnesses involved in potential criminal prosecutions meant the publication of its first findings was likely to be pushed back until late 2013.
A second report, which will consider whether the BBC's current child protection and whistleblowing policies are fit for purpose, is due to be published in early 2014.
In an update on its website, the Smith review said: "The Savile investigation is unable to progress certain aspects of its work as a consequence of a need to wait, at the request of the police, before it approaches a number of potential interviewees whose evidence may be relevant to ongoing criminal investigations.
"It is unclear whether these criminal investigations will lead to prosecutions but, if prosecutions do take place, Dame Janet Smith may need to wait a considerable time before she can approach these potential interviewees."
Solicitors for the review also urged any witnesses of inappropriate behaviour by Hall to come forward

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