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Judge who gave pervert Stuart Hall just 15 months was forced to quit after being

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Judge who gave pervert Stuart Hall just 15 months was forced to quit after being caught visiting a gay brothel

?Judge Anthony Russell QC criticised for 'unduly lenient' sentence

?He resigned in 1996 in wake of gay brothel scandal, it emerges

?Alleged to have entered 'dark room' with doctor and hospital porter
?Later reinstated and rose up the ranks to become a senior judge

By Steve Robson

PUBLISHED: 09:49, 24 June 2013  | UPDATED: 16:46, 24 June 2013 

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Caught out: Judge Anthony Russell was forced to quit after being caught visiting a gay brothel in 1996
Caught out: Judge Anthony Russell was forced to quit after being caught visiting a gay brothel in 1996

The judge who sparked outrage after jailing serial sex offender Stuart Hall for just 15 months was forced to quit after being caught visiting a gay brothel, it has emerged.

Judge Anthony Russell QC's promising career as a barrister had looked to be over when he resigned after admitting he went to the male-only Greenhouse club in Walsall, the West Midlands, in 1996.

It was alleged Judge Russell went into a 'dark room' inside the club with a leading doctor and a hospital porter.

Following the allegations, reported in the News of the World, the judge resigned as part-time Recorder of Bolton and as the top lawyer for the Inland Revenue.

 But five years later he was reinstated and has gone on to become a senior judge, the Daily Mirror reported.


Judge Russell prompted a wave of criticism after sentencing former It's A Knockout presenter Stuart Hall to just 15 months in jail after he admitting indecently assaulting 13 girls between 1967 and 1986. His youngest victim was nine.


The sentence was described as 'unduly lenient' by the Shadow Attorney General.

The Attorney General is currently considering whether to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal for review.


Judge Russell admitted that he visited the club - now advertised as 'the UK's No1 gay sauna' - but insisted the description of what went on inside was 'factually inaccurate in some respects and exaggerated'.

But in 2000, he applied to be reinstated and was allowed to rise back through the ranks to become one of the North West's most senior judges.

In 2004, he was made a circuit judge by Lord Falconer then Lord Chancellor and a year later a senior court judge for Preston Combined Court.


It is understood the Lord Chancellors who appointed him to top positions were aware of the reports when he was being considered.

When sentencing Hall earlier this month, Judge Russell made reference to the 'darker side' of his private life which the presenter had kept hidden.

He said: 'In the course of your long career you have given pleasure to millions of people as a local television presenter in the North West, nationally in the It's a Knockout series, and as a highly regarded sports commentator.


'Gay sauna': The Greenhouse club in Walsall, the West Midlands, now advertises itself as 'the UK's No1 gay sauna'
'Gay sauna': The Greenhouse club in Walsall, the West Midlands, now advertises itself as 'the UK's No1 gay sauna'

'You were known for the genial personality, charm, bonhomie and wit which you displayed in these various roles.

'However those who have admired you for these qualities and the general public now know that there is a darker side to you, one hidden from public view until now.

'A side which you were able to conceal taking advantage of your status as a well-liked celebrity.'

Jailed: Judge Russell made reference to the 'darker side' of disgraced television presenter Stuart Hall's personality when sending him to prison
Jailed: Judge Russell made reference to the 'darker side' of disgraced television presenter Stuart Hall's personality when sending him to prison



A spokesman for the judiciary said: 'In April 1996 Judge Russell QC, who at that time sat as a part-time recorder, resigned his recordership following newspaper revelations regarding his private life. 
 


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'He strongly disputed, and continues to dispute, the details of what is alleged to have happened inside the premises, although he admitted he did visit them.

 
'The then Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay, accepted his resignation. Judge Russell QC went on to be appointed as a Queen's Counsel in 1999. In late 2000 Judge Russell QC wrote to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, asking him to consider his reinstatement. In May 2001, Lord Irvine as Lord Chancellor, re-instated him as a Recorder on the Northern Circuit. 
 
'Judge Russell QC applied to become a Circuit Judge in 2004. Following an open competition, conducted by the Commission for Judicial Appointments (the precursor to the independent Judicial Appointments Commission), Judge Russell was appointed as a full-time Circuit Judge by Lord Falconer as Lord Chancellor.
 
'In 2005, again following another open competition conducted by the Commission for Judicial Appointments, Lord Falconer, as Lord Chancellor, appointed Judge Russell to the post of Senior Circuit Judge at  Preston Combined Court.
 
'Both Lord Chancellors were aware of the events of 1996 when appointing Judge Russell QC.'

After Hall was handed his sentence, two of the women who helped bring the predator to justice led the condemnation of his paltry term. The pair waived their legal right to anonymity in the Daily Mail last month.

Susan Harrison was 16 when Hall lured her to BBC premises on the false pretext of helping her record a song, before attacking her in his car.

Mrs Harrison, now 61, said: 'His victims deserved more. I hope that he has an uncomfortable time in prison and reflects on the gravity of what he did.

'Several of these cases reveal an abuse of power by you because your status gave you an influence and standing which you abused.'

'I feel that the sentence should have been higher especially taking into account the age of some of his victims.'

The mother of one added: 'His lenient sentence will not act as deterrent to others who go on to sexually abuse youngsters. I am pretty shocked by it and feel that he has almost walked free and it has made a mockery of what the victims have been through.

'This is after all his denials and calling us all liars and the claims spurious, callous and cruel ? he has never personally apologised for what he has done and he is not remorseful.'

Kim Wright was 17 when Hall fondled her breasts at a show in Blackpool.

Now 55, she told the Mail: 'When he made those comments outside court about our allegations being false I felt like I had been abused all over again. He does not appear to be remorseful at all.'


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2347141/Judge-gave-pervert-Stuart-Hall-just-15-months-forced-quit-caught-visiting-gay-brothel.html#
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 11:38:10 PM by the watcher »


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