DISGRACED television presenter Stuart Hall has been accused of avoiding a payout to his child abuse victims by signing over his £1.2 million house to wife, it was reported yesterday.
Hall made the transfer in February, just weeks before he admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
The former BBC It’s A Knockout star reportedly said that he gave his wife, Hazel, full ownership of their home in Cheshire because he has a heart defect.
“I have got an extreme heart condition and at any moment I’m liable to pop off,” he said.
Asked whether he would give his victims compensation, he said: “That’s lawyer talk.”
Victims of the shamed veteran broadcaster have instructed Alan Collins, a partner at law firm Pannone and a specialist in sexual abuse cases, to pursue civil action in relation to injuries and harm suffered.
Collins said: “It’s quite a common problem in cases like this, they put an asset in another person’s name or even overseas. It is a cynical move. It shows contempt for the victims. Yesterday his barrister was saying he is very sorry, but words are cheap.”
Hall, who now faces jail, was described as an “opportunistic predator” by Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for the North West, after he appeared at Preston Crown Court last Thursday.
Recorder of Preston Judge Anthony Russell, QC, granted him bail on condition of residence at his home address and no unsupervised contact with children.
Collins added: “Hall’s admission of guilt means we will be able to pursue these cases expeditiously on behalf of our clients. Victims often live with the memories of the abuse hidden away at the back of their minds for years and it is particularly brave of such victims to come forward and face those memories.”