Labour demands harsher punishment for Stuart Hall

Labour wrote to the attorney general today demanding a more severe punishment for former BBC presenter Stuart Hall, who was given a sentence of just 15 months despite being found guilty of sexually abusing 13 girls.

Hall, 83, admitted 14 offences which occurred between 1967 and 1985, including one against a girl who was just nine years old.

"This sentence surely cannot be strong enough for the seriousness and circumstances of the crime," Labour's Emily Thornberry wrote to Dominic Grieve.

"Sexual assault is in itself a very serious offence and there were many aggravating factors present in this case."

"Fifteen months is not just a lenient sentence, it is unduly lenient."

Thornberry demanded the attorney-general refer the case to the court of appeal on the basis that the victims were young, there was pattern of behaviour over a long period of time, there was an abuse of trust and because Hall's initial response to the charges will have compounded the victims' distress.

Most of Hall's crimes took place when the maximum sentence was just two years, although some could be given five-year terms. The maximum sentence is now ten years.

"It is clear from the victim statements that I have seen that your brazen attitude when first charged and the public protests of your innocence have added to the distress of some if not all of your victims," Judge Russell said.

The attorney-general's office confirmed it has already received multiple requests for the sentence to be reviewed.