Disgraced ex-broadcaster Stuart Hall has been released from a Lancashire prison ahead of his 86th birthday next week, sources have confirmed.
The former It’s A Knockout presenter walked free from HMP Wymott in Leyland after he served half of his second jail term for historical child abuse offences.
In June 2013, he was jailed for 15 months at Preston Crown Court after he admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls, aged between nine and 17, before it was doubled by the Court of the Appeal which ruled the sentence was “inadequate”.
Last May he received an additional 30 months in jail - to run consecutively - for two indecent assaults on another girl.
Hall, 85, would have received a minimum eight-year jail term last year for one of those assaults if prosecuted under current laws but instead the court was limited to the maximum sentence at the time of the offence.
Various judges were told by his legal team that he faced dying in prison and that he was financially ruined.
Father-of-two Hall, who turns 86 on Christmas Day, will be on licence for the next 15 months and as a convicted sex offender will be subject to strict condtions.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “Public protection is our top priority and offenders automatically released on licence at the halfway point of their sentence are subject to strict controls.”