The last few weeks have seen a new raft of well-known celebrities forced into the limelight in relation to historic abuse cases. The amount of cases of historic sexual abuse being reported has increased significantly since the start of Operation Yewtree – the investigation following the Jimmy Saville scandal.
On 2nd May Stuart Hall admitted fourteen charges of indecent assault, one of which was on a child of nine. The incidents are believed to have occurred between 1967 and 1985, and there were 13 victims in total. Mr Hall has now been bailed, and will be sentenced in September.
Three additional charges of indecent assault and rape will lie on the court file. It was stated that the victim who had alleged rape did not feel the need to provide evidence due to the number of guilty pleas entered by the Defendant.
The Chief Crown Prosecutor described Mr Hall as “an opportunistic predator’. The thirteen victims were commended for their bravery, and it was noted that victims of sexual abuse will not be denied justice simply because of the passage of time.
Mr Hall was working for the BBC throughout the period when the abuse occurred. A BBC spokesperson commented that the organisation was “appalled by the disgraceful actions of Mr Hall’. The BBC have further stated that any reports of allegations made about Mr Hall whilst at the BBC are to be forwarded to the police and the Dame Janet Smith Review, which is looking at the culture within the BBC during the 1970s and 1980s.
In addition, William Roache, famous for playing Coronation Street’s Ken Barlow, was arrested and charged with two counts of rape on 1st May 2013. The alleged assaults are said to have occurred between May and 1967 against a fifteen year old girl.
Mr Roache has denied the allegations, but will not be appearing in the soap until the legal proceedings have concluded.
The Chief Crown Prosecutor has stated that the police have been investigating allegations against Mr Roache since March 2013. The Crown Prosecution Service felt that charging Mr Roache was in the public interest, and have commented that there is sufficient evidence.
The Police commented that they encourage victims of sexual abuse to come forward as they take “all allegations of sexual abuse extremely seriously’.
Farleys has a dedicated department specialising in helping the victims of abuse to claim damages. If you have been affected by any issues of sexual abuse, either in the recent or historic past, our abuse claim solicitors may be able to help you to claim compensation for the suffering you endured. For a free of charge discussion about making a claim for abuse, please do not hesitate to contact us.
By Rachael Longman, Trainee Solicitor