Gary Glitter faces life sentence after new conviction

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FORMER glam rock singer Gary Glitter is facing life behind bars after being found guilty of a string of historic sexual abuse offences against three young girls.

The 70-year-old, real name Paul Gadd, was convicted by a jury of five men and seven women at Southwark Crown Court in London

Former pop star Gary Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, arrives at Southwark Crown Court

Former pop star Gary Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, arrives at Southwark Crown Court

He was found guilty 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.

Glitter raised his eyebrows and looked shocked in the dock as the verdicts were read. He blew kisses to a public gallery full of reporters as he was remanded in custody and led down to the cells.

Judge Alistair McCreath told him: “In light of verdicts, I am remanding him in custody.”

He will be sentenced on February 27 at 9.30am.

Glitter was cleared of two counts of indecent assault and one count of administering a drug or other thing in order to facilitate sexual intercourse.

Glitter was at the height of his fame when he preyed on the youngsters, who thought no one would believe their word over that of a celebrity.

He attacked two girls, aged 12 and 13, after inviting them backstage to his dressing room, and isolating them from their mothers.

The 70-year-old’s youngest victim was less than 10 years old when he crept into her bed and tried to rape her in 1975.

But the allegations came to light only around 40 years later when Glitter became the first person to be arrested under Operation Yewtree - the investigation launched by the Met in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

The glam-rocker had suffered a spectacular fall from grace earlier, when he admitted possessing 4,000 images of child pornography and was jailed for four months in 1999.

In 2002 Glitter was expelled from Cambodia over unspecified allegations, and in March 2006 he was convicted of sexually abusing two girls, aged 10 and 11, in Vietnam.

During the trial, all three of Glitter’s victims sobbed as they recounted their ordeals.

One woman, now in her 50s, described how she had attended a party at a house - where she had previously met Alvin Stardust - on the night she was attacked in 1975.

She remembered Glitter smelling of “booze and cigarettes” and putting his arm over her, making her feel “uncomfortable”.

The victim said she did not try to push him away because she did not want to be rude.

Some years later, the woman warned a friend to steer clear of Glitter because he was “dangerous”.

Glitter’s second victim was 12 years old when he attacked her after a spring 1977 show at Leicester nightclub Baileys.

She initially went backstage with her mother and had a gold jacket autographed while drinking Moet champagne, but was then invited to the singer’s Holiday Inn hotel suite.

Once back in the room, star songwriter, producer and Glitter’s manager Mike Leander led the girl’s mother away, while Glitter took her by the hand into a bedroom where he told her comic Spike Milligan had a gun and was after Glitter for sleeping with his wife.

The girl tried to push the naked singer away, but as she lifted her hands, he shouted at her not to touch his hair, telling her he had a “phobia”.

He then pushed her on to the bed and subjected her to a prolonged period of sexual abuse.

The following morning he told the youngster: “You are a really clever girl, you got dressed before your mum came in.”

In a statement to the court, Anne Glover, a chambermaid who worked at the Holiday Inn in 1977, claimed she had walked into the former star’s bathroom to see him sitting in the bath with a girl she thought was around 12.

There was no suggestion it was the second victim, and the evidence was never put before the jury.

Ms Glover said: “It was clearly him as he had his big quiffy hair at the front that had been slicked back at the sides with big sideburns. I remember he had a black hairy chest, I could see him from the mid-ribs upwards and his skin was a normal pale colour.

“The girl who was sitting at the other end of the bath, I could only see from her shoulders upwards because of her size.”

Two indecent assault charges related to a third girl, who was aged 13 when the singer invited her to sit on his lap in his dressing room between October 1979 and December 1980.

Wearing a silver sequinned jumpsuit unzipped to the navel, and silver platform boots, he forcefully kissed the youngster and then slid his hand up her skirt.

She had been taken backstage to meet her “idol” as a surprise arranged by her mother’s partner, but after the attack in a club called Baileys in Watford, Glitter told the youngster it was their “secret”.

It was only after his arrest under Operation Yewtree that the woman went to the police.

Glitter, from Marylebone, central London, denied all the allegations.

He claimed there was no way he could have abused the girls in his dressing room because his rigorous wig-maintenance routine required him to return to his suite immediately and clean his hairpiece.

Glitter is the fourth high-profile scalp to be claimed by the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Yewtree which has already seen former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis, children’s entertainer Rolf Harris and PR Guru Max Clifford convicted of historic sexual offences.

Peter Watt, director of national services for children’s charity the NSPCC, said: “Glitter was 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 tried to portray himself as the victim in this case, as a remorseful, penitent man who had paid for his previous crimes but now faced malicious new allegations. It was just another performance.

“His previous convictions, including those for possession of more than 4,000 indecent images of children and sexual assaults in Vietnam, were indicative of a predatory sexual interest in children spanning decades.

“At the height of his fame, he targeted vulnerable children and subjected them to sickening sexual attacks. Glitter recalled at his trial the screaming fans outside his home and at airports in the 1970s.

“He used the adoration of fans like these to violate young girls and satisfy his perversions, telling one victim that his assault was their ‘secret’. The bravery of the women who told the court of their traumatic experiences means Glitter’s dirty sham performance is now over and justice will finally be done.”

Glitter is now barely recognisable from the brash, ebullient star of 1970s glam rock.

In his prime, he had enormous stage presence, his diminutive 5ft 6in given considerable stature with the addition of giant platform heels and inflated hair.

He sold 18 million records in five years in the early 70s and enjoyed transatlantic success with a string of raucous rock hits.

Now he is a disgraced former star, bald and suffering deteriorating health in his old age.

Glitter was born Paul Gadd in Banbury, Oxfordshire, in 1944 and began his search for fame in his teenage years as a singer on the club circuit.

He went through a succession of stage personae over the years, including Paul Russell, Paul Raven and Paul Monday, but somehow he always failed to set the charts alight.

But at the age of 28 he finally did make it.

He got in at the start of the glam craze in 1972 and was propelled to stardom by the Glitter persona he invented.

The name was chosen after Gadd worked through the letters of the alphabet looking for alliteratives, having ruled out Terry Tinsel and Stanley Sparkly.

His breakthrough hit, Rock And Roll (Parts One And Two), reached the top 10 in both the US and UK and in the following years Gadd proved his songwriting and performing talent by returning to the top of the charts.

During the trial at Southwark Crown Court, one of his victims said Glitter had a phobia about people touching his hair.

Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC, defending, told the jury that the singer did not shower backstage because he did not want people to know that he was “pretty bald”.

She said: “To have disclosed that would be to damage his public image.

“And so after the show, hot and sweaty, he would always get out of the club quickly, to go and repair the wigs that he wore.”

The glam era was bright but short, and as it fizzled out Glitter found himself divorced, bankrupt and struggling with alcohol abuse. His retirement came as no surprise.

In the 80s and 90s he enjoyed occasional comebacks, cleaned himself up, was referenced by Oasis and enjoyed a measure of celebrity touring as a student novelty act.

Then in November 1997 his laptop computer was serviced and an engineer found thousands of child porn images saved on its hard drive. Glitter was sentenced to four months, serving half.

Suddenly memories of his provocative act and lewd lyrics prompted disgust and horror. Glitter left the country, living off royalties estimated at £100,000 year. He was discovered by newspaper journalists living in Spain and moved to Cuba and then to South East Asia.

He was kicked out of Cambodia in 2003 and moved to Thailand and then to Vietnam.

Glitter was arrested trying to board a flight after allegations that he molested two girls, aged 11 and 12, at his home in the resort town of Vung Tau.

He was convicted in 2006 and spent almost three years in prison.

After his release he returned to the UK in 2008 and has a home in Marylebone, central London.

In October 2012 he became the first person to be arrested as part of Operation Yewtree, the national investigation launched in the wake of abuse claims against Jimmy Savile.

The decision to charge Glitter over a string of historic sex offences was announced last June.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court later that month before going on trial in January.