Stuart Hall rape trial: Broadcaster not giving evidence

Stuart Hall Stuart Hall denies 20 charges of rape and indecent assault

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Broadcaster Stuart Hall will not give evidence from the witness box in defence of sex assault allegations, a jury has been told.

Mr Hall is on trial at Preston Crown Court for 20 historical charges of rape and indecent assault against two girls.

He denies all of the charges alleged to have happened between 1976 to 1981.

The complainants came forward after the 84-year-old was jailed last year for a string of historical indecent assaults against 13 girls.

'Surprised by allegations'

It is said the former It's A Knockout presenter groomed his victims and plied them with alcohol before he raped them.

A statement made to the police by the ex-BBC presenter when he was confronted with fresh sex assault allegations in October was read to the jury.

In it Mr Hall said he was "surprised" by the allegations by the two women who he had known for a number of years, the court heard.

"I am concerned that they have been made only after I pleaded guilty to a number of offences and then was sentenced to a term of imprisonment."

He said one of the accusers, known only as Girl B, had "offered her support" when he previously went on trial for 14 historical offences of indecent assault last year.

The jury heard he also said his health was "deteriorating" in the statement made to police prior to being charged.

The first alleged victim, identified as Girl A, told the jury she was raped at BBC premises at Oxford Road and Piccadilly, both in Manchester.

Girl A, now 52, told the court Mr Hall would sometimes give her money after raping her and then drive her home in his gold Rolls Royce.

Girl B told the court she was first attacked by Mr Hall when she was 12 at stables in the mid-1970s.

'Consensual sex'

She also told the court the defendant went on to rape her when she was aged 14 or 15 in his BBC dressing rooms at both Piccadilly and Oxford Road.

The broadcaster said the rape at the stables did not take place while other sexual contact was consensual.

He admitted a charge of indecently assaulting her when she was 13 between January 1978 and January 1979 which was put to him before the latest trial started.

A psychologist, instructed by the defence, said it was possible that Girl B's memory of being raped in the stables was "confabulated".

The court heard Girl B told a therapist that she had a "recurring dream" about the alleged rape but said it was a memory of an incident that she knew had happened.

Dr Ian Anderson told the court therapy or dreams could produce false memories.

"The person who has the memory has a honest belief that it is true," he said.

'Nothing in her demeanour'

However, Dr Anderson agreed with Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, that it was also possible that the recurring dream was "a product" of the trauma of being raped.

The jury heard a statement from a production secretary who worked at the BBC in Manchester with Mr Hall at the time the offences were alleged to have taken place.

Jean Tetlow said she had never seen anything inappropriate in his dressing rooms at Piccadilly or Oxford Road.

She said she did not recall seeing Girl A but did remember being introduced to Girl B at Oxford Road but stated "there was nothing in her demeanour or attitude to indicate there was anything untoward happening with her and Stuart".

Last year, Mr Hall was jailed for 15 months for 14 offences of indecent assault.

His sentence was later extended to 30 months, at the Court of Appeal.

The trial continues.

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