Stuart Hall: BBC to hold 'freestanding investigation'

Stuart Hall Stuart Hall committed the offences between 1967 and 1985

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A "freestanding investigation" into how broadcaster Stuart Hall was able to abuse girls while working at the BBC has been announced by the corporation.

Dame Janet Smith is currently reviewing the culture and practices of the BBC following the Jimmy Savile scandal.

But a separate inquiry feeding into her report will be led by a different person, due to a "potential conflict of interest", the BBC confirmed.

Hall, 83, has admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls, one aged nine.

News reports have claimed fellow BBC staff may have helped Hall gain access to victims while he was working at the corporation.

On Sunday, BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten said the claims were "appalling" and would be addressed by Dame Janet's ongoing inquiry.

However, the BBC later released a statement saying: "In light of a potential conflict of interest with Dame Janet Smith there will be a freestanding investigation covering Stuart Hall's conduct at the BBC which will feed into her review.

"This work will be led by a different individual appointed by the BBC."

It is understood Dame Janet knows someone who has been named in press reports in relation to Hall.

Dame Janet's inquiry was set up in the wake of revelations that the late Jimmy Savile - also a former BBC presenter - had sexually abused more than 200 people over decades, including on BBC premises.

The former Appeal Court judge's review is looking at whether culture and practices at the corporation during the 60s, 70s and 80s enabled abuse to continue unchecked.

Earlier this month Hall, of Wilmslow in Cheshire, pleaded guilty to 14 offences, involving 13 victims, which occurred between 1967 and 1985.

The ex-host of the BBC game show It's a Knockout was bailed and is due to be sentenced on 17 June.

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