Entertainment & Arts

BBC Hall probe to be lead by former High Court judge

Stuart Hall
Image caption Hall's offences were carried out over a 20 year period

Retired High Court judge Dame Linda Dobbs is to lead an investigation for the BBC into broadcaster Stuart Hall's conduct at the corporation.

Hall pleaded guilty in May to 14 offences of indecently assaulting 13 girls between 1967 and 1985.

The enquiry's findings will feed into Dame Janet Smith's Review into BBC culture and practices following the Jimmy Savile scandal.

The BBC said the Hall investigation will begin as a matter of urgency.

The corporation's Executive Board appointed Dame Linda Dobbs with the agreement of the BBC Trust. She will report directly to the director general Tony Hall and will share Dame Janet's legal and technical support.

Dame Janet is not overseeing the Hall review due to potential conflict of interest, having stated that she knows someone named in press reports in relation to him.

The BBC said that Dame Linda's review will do the following:

  • 1. Receive evidence from people against whom Hall has admitted inappropriate sexual conduct in connection with his work for the BBC.
  • 2. Receive evidence from other people who allege inappropriate sexual conduct by Hall in connection with his work for the BBC, and from others who claim to have raised concerns about his activities (whether formally or informally) within the BBC.
  • 3. Investigate the extent to which BBC personnel were or ought to have been aware of inappropriate sexual conduct by Hall in connection with his work for the BBC.
  • 4. Consider whether the culture and practices within the BBC locations where Hall worked during the years of his employment enabled inappropriate sexual conduct to continue unchecked.

Dame Linda was called to the Bar in 1981 and became Queen's Counsel in 1998. When practising as a barrister, she both prosecuted and defended sexual offences cases.

When Hall admitted 14 charges of indecently assaulting girls, one aged nine, a BBC spokesperson said: "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."

He was initially arrested in December and made a statement describing the claims as "pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious".

But in emerged in May that he had admitted indecently assaulting girls. He will be sentenced on 17 June.

Hall has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century, and was appointed OBE in the 2012 New Year Honours.

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