Victim – who was groomed until she was 13 – is still haunted by his “child-catcher” laugh
A relative of disgraced TV star Stuart Hall has told how he groped her when she was just eight years old.
Jayne Lee is still haunted by the “child-catcher” laugh of the paedophile, who would touch her when her unsuspecting mum was in the next room.
Revealing the depth of Hall’s depravity in targeting a member of his own family, traumatised Jayne said the grooming continued until she was 13.
On one occasion “Uncle Stu” terrified her by begging to be let in when she went to the bathroom and locked the door.
Bravely waiving her right to anonymity, Jayne, now 45, has broken her 30-year silence to reveal how the former BBC presenter left her too scared to tell her mum what he did. She said: “I was innocent but I still knew it was wrong. I was too scared to tell anyone because everyone was in awe of Stuart Hall, as he was a member of the family and famous.
“To me he was a horrible lech who was forever touching me and I will never forget how he looked at me. When he finished he would laugh it off – it was that loud laugh you heard on television.”
Jayne said she is aware of another girl who says she was molested by the former Radio Five Live commentator.
She feared he would never be brought to justice because of his fame. But Hall, 83, who presented It’s A Knockout, faces jail after pleading guilty to 13 indecent assaults on 14 girls between 1967 and 1985.
She told how he visited her home in the early 1970s when he was opening a supermarket on her estate and her mother went to see him.
Jayne said: “My mum invited him back and she bent over backwards to accommodate him as he was famous and in our house. He came across to me while my mum was out of the room making tea.”
The pattern became horribly familiar. Jayne added: “When he used to embrace me, it was more than a hug. He would brush his hands across my chest on purpose on the pretence of embracing me.
“I was so innocent at that age but I knew it was wrong. He was forever touching my knees and hugging me. It didn’t feel right.” Jayne said Hall visited their home on a number of occasions, often when he was making an appearance in the area at the height of his fame. Every time he disguised inappropriate touching with a “friendly hug” while her mother was out of the room.
“I will never forget that laugh. I don’t want to hear it again. To me that laugh was abusive – it was a cynical, horrible, childcatcher laugh.
“My mother would be back and forth from the kitchen making tea. It wasn’t noticed by my mum.
“I never forget the way he looked at me. It was the most haunting and frightening look ever. I can describe it now as this age as I now understand this look to be a leer. I didn’t know at that time it was leering but I knew it seemed wrong. Nobody I knew ever looked at me like he looked at me. His aura said, ‘I am me and you are nothing’ – he had a hold over everyone.”
Jayne described how creepy Hall, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, went to kiss her on the lips once but she managed to avoid his sick advances.
In another disturbing incident, Jayne described how he followed her upstairs as she went to the bathroom. She said: “He stood outside and he was tapping the door and saying ‘Can I come in and help you?’ I was really scared. I was only nine at the time.
“I flushed the chain and I stayed in the bathroom because I was scared he was going to be outside the door and I flushed again in the hope he would just go. He was listening to me while I was in the toilet.
“When I opened the door he was halfway down the stairs and he just looked up at me and said, ‘I wanted to help you’ and I just thought, ‘Oh my God’. I was petrified – I didn’t know what he was going to do.”
Jayne added: “My mother was star-struck and couldn’t see the wood for the trees. But I didn’t like him. I hated him. He was on the TV, in our house, related to us and we almost had to bow down to him. So I had to shut up about what he had done. He never mentioned his wife, didn’t talk about his kids, nothing like that. It was just all about himself.
“I only ever once said to my mother, ‘I don’t like him’ and she berated me for it. He had this aura which said, ‘I am famous and I can do anything I bloody well want.’ I could tell that attitude and I was nine.”
Father-of-two Hall, awarded an OBE last year, said he would fight the charges after his arrest. Jayne was sickened by his claim that the allegations were “callous, cruel and spurious” and shocked by the number of offences he admitted.
Jayne, whose mum died in 2002, said: “I was gobsmacked. I used to say to myself it would come out one day but the amount shocked me. I thought, ‘You bastard’.”
She said: “My mother would be horrified now – she would say, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ But what do you say at that age?”
Jayne added: “I couldn’t believe it when I read that girls were taken to his dressing room at the BBC and described as his nieces. The cheek and irony of it! Nobody ever knew one of his victims was actually his relative. I feel so much better for speaking about it.”
At least 12 victims are pursuing civil claims against Hall and the BBC.
by Dominic Herbert