British singer Gary Glitter found guilty of child sex crimes

5th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

British former glam rocker Gary Glitter could spend the rest of his life in prison after being found guilty at a London court on Thursday of historic sex abuse against three young girls.

Glitter, 70, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was convicted of one count of attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13 between 1977 and 1980.

The jury of five men and seven women acquitted Gadd of three other counts after deliberating for two days at the end of a two-week trial.

The entertainer blew kisses at the public gallery as he was led away to the cells.

Glitter was at the height of his fame as a singer-songwriter and musician when he attacked his victims, and investigators said he targeted young girls who were in awe of him.

Prosecutor John Price had earlier described how a drunken Gadd had tried to force himself on a girl, who was aged under 10 at the time, in the mid-1970s.

The victim only came forward 20 years after the incident when she saw Gadd had admitted in 1999 to child pornography charges.

He also attacked two girls, aged 12 and 13, after inviting them to his dressing room without their mothers.

One victim, now in her 50s, told the court how Glitter, smelling of "booze and cigarettes", had put his arm over her, making her feel "uncomfortable".

Chief Crown Prosecutor Baljit Ubhey said Gadd had "abused his access to young fans in order to give himself the opportunities to assault and abuse his victims.

"The bravery of the victims and other witnesses in this case cannot be understated and their testimony has been vital in bringing Paul Gadd to justice."

The singer was first jailed in 1999 when he admitted possessing 4,000 images of child pornography.

He was deported from Cambodia in 2002 over unspecified claims and convicted in Vietnam in 2006 of sexually abusing two girls, for which he was sentenced to three years in jail.

On returning to Britain, Glitter was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

- String of scandals -

Glitter shot to fame in the 1970s and had over 20 hit singles including "I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am)", "I Love You Love Me Love" and "Come On Come In Get On".

He will be sentenced on February 27 and the nature of his offences means he is likely to face a lengthy jail term.

Peter Watt, from children's charity the NSPCC, accused the singer of being "devious and manipulative throughout this trial."

"Thankfully the jury has seen through all the fake tears, and his attempts to paint his victims as liars, gold diggers or opportunistic fantasists," he added.

Investigators said other information had been received during the trial, and that it was being assessed.

Glitter is the latest in a series of high profile people in Britain to be convicted of historical sex abuse.

He was arrested as part of the Metropolitan Police's Operation Yewtree, launched in the wake of historic sex abuse claims against late BBC star Jimmy Savile, now thought to have been a prolific sex offender.

The investigation has already seen former radio DJ Dave Lee Travis, Australian entertainer Rolf Harris and celebrity publicist Max Clifford convicted of sexual offences.

The government has launched a wide-ranging inquiry into how sexual abuse allegations were handled in the wake of a string of scandals involving child abuse at hospitals, care homes, churches and schools.

The probe will include a review of allegations of a ring of paedophiles in powerful political positions, rumours that first circulated in the 1980s but that resurfaced following the Savile case.


© 2015 AFP

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