Former BBC broadcaster and presenter Stuart Hall was today sentenced to 15 months in jail after being convicted of abusing 13 young girls between 1968 and 1986. Having admitted to the abuses in April, despite having dismissed the allegations four months ago, calling them 'pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious'.

Described by Crown Prosecution Services as 'an opportunistic predator', Hall's victims all had 'strikingly similar accounts' of how the abuses occurred, and that Hall would serially 'approach under friendly pretences and then bide his time until the victim was isolated'. Hall's victims vary in ages, the youngest of which was 9 years old.

While sentencing him Judge Anthony Russell said Hall had taken advantage of his celebrity status and happy onscreen persona, adding that: 'Those who admired you for these qualities and the general public now know that there is a darker side to you, one hidden from the public view until now, and a side which you were able to conceal, taking advantage of your status as a well-liked celebrity. Several of these cases reveal an abuse of power by you because your status gave you an influence and standing which you abused.'

Hall changed his plea to guilty last month following the dropping of rape allegations against a 22-year-old women in 1976. The charge will however remain on file.

The BBC issued the following statement condemning Hall:

The BBC is appalled that some of Stuart Hall's crimes took place in connection with his work at the BBC and offer an unreserved apology to the people he abused. Dame Linda Dobbs is leading a detailed investigation into Hall's conduct at the BBC and her conclusions will be published as part of the Dame Janet Smith review later this year.