Gary Glitter convicted of child sex offenses | Crime

Former glam rock star Gary Glitter faces spending the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of a series of child sex offenses involving three young girls aged between 8 and 13.

A jury of five men and seven women took two days to convict the flamboyant star, now 70, of six misdemeanors, committed in the 1970s and 1980s, including the attempted rape of an eight-year-old child and illegal sex with a 12-year-old girl. -year-old girl, a charge carrying a life sentence.

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

Glitter was cleared of two counts of indecent assault and one count of administering a drug or other thing to facilitate sex. He will be sentenced on February 27.

The father-of-three, whose real name is Paul Gadd, raised his eyebrows and looked shocked as the verdicts were read. He blew kisses in the public gallery, full of reporters, as he was led into the cells.

His predatory sexual offenses against his child victims, including fans who propelled him to stardom, went unpunished for 40 years due to “fame immunity”, the prosecution said at trial.

However, that disappeared after the singer fell from grace when he was found to have a ‘voracious’ appetite for child abuse images. He was convicted in 1999 of building a library of 4,000 such images, some involving children as young as two.

Later, in 2012, he was arrested as part of the Operation Yewtree investigation, set up following the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal. It was during this period that his three victims, now grown women, found the courage to tell the police about the abuse, when they had previously confided in others.

Each broke down in tears as they described how the star they idolized as children abused them. One, a nurse in her 40s, told the jury how the singer, then a household name who had sold 18 million records, picked her up in her Rolls-Royce and drove her to a mansion, with a special “candy room”. a swimming pool and a pony, when she was eight years old.

She was excited, there was a party. But that night in 1975, while sleeping with a friend, the star crawled into their bed and attempted to rape her, an attack that left her broken and ashamed, she said . She plucked up the courage to go to the police when she learned he had been arrested for child abuse footage. She wanted them to know it wasn’t just about the pictures, she said.

Gadd committed all six offenses at the height of “Glittermania” – when thousands of his screaming fans congregated at airports and he couldn’t walk down the street without being recognized.

He showered his fans with red roses at his concerts, he told the court, and gave them jackets, t-shirts and other gifts.

But his fame has allowed him to target the most vulnerable among them and subject them to sexual assaults, one of which he said was “our secret”.

Chief Detective Inspector Michael Orchard of the Sexual Offenses, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command said Gadd was the first person arrested in connection with Operation Yewtree. He said: “Paul Gadd proved to be a habitual sexual predator, who took advantage of the star status granted to him by targeting young girls who trusted him and were impressed by his fame. His lack of remorse and his defense that the victims were lying makes his crimes all the more indefensible.

Peter Watt, the NSPCC’s director of national services, said the singer was devious and manipulative throughout his trial, and he praised the bravery of his victims for coming forward. Watt said, “Fortunately, the jury saw through all the fake tears and his attempts to paint his victims as liars, gold diggers, or opportunistic fantasists.”

Chief Crown Prosecutor and Head of CPS London Baljit Ubhey said: ‘Paul Gadd abused his access to young fans in order to give himself the opportunity to assault and abuse his victims. Such crimes have impacts on victims that can last a lifetime. »

She said she hoped the trial would encourage other victims of sexual abuse to come forward.

Mark Castle of Victim Support said: ‘It takes tremendous strength to report sexual abuse and then go on and testify in court, especially in a high profile case like this and others related to the operation. Yewtree. This guilty verdict testifies to the courage of its victims.

Police said Thursday they had received information during the trial about other potential attacks and were reviewing them.

Glitter, who is hard of hearing and was aided throughout the trial by two tongue-in-cheek interpreters, arrived in court each day wearing his signature dark glasses and a variety of tailored jackets in different colors, a patterned silk scarf and a felt or Cossack hat.

The jury at Southwark Crown Court also heard stories from two teenage fans who met Gadd backstage. One, who is now 50, was 12 when he sexually assaulted her in her Holiday Inn hotel room after a 1977 gig at a Leicester nightclub, Baileys. Another former fan, now 48, was sexually assaulted backstage after a gig at another club in Watford, Hertfordshire.

Gadd, who went bald at 18, said he didn’t remember and couldn’t have carried out the assaults they described because his elaborate routine of maintaining wigs after the performance meant he never had fans backstage.

As for his first victim, he denied being at the mansion during the dates she said he crawled into her bed, or that there was a “candy room.”

But the jury of seven women and five men did not believe him, choosing instead to believe the vivid and detailed testimony of his victims.

“I felt like something was going to break and it was me, said the nurse, before describing how, at eight, she rubbed herself and rubbed herself after the attempted rape, causing her to leak some blood.

In pretrial argument, Gadd’s lawyers argued the case should be thrown out because it was impossible for the jurors not to have missed years of media coverage of an “extremely adverse nature”. , including a mockumentary describing his execution. They also argued that his arrest in Operation Yewtree unfairly linked him to the late artist Savile and led to an “unconscious backdrop of vitriol” towards his client. The judge disagreed.

There were dramatic scenes during the trial as Gadd sobbed uncontrollably, claiming the thousands of child abuse images found on his computer were not representative of his sexual history, but were due to pressure of a collapsing career, financial problems, drug problems and his disappearance. friend.

He was remorseful, his defense said, and the offenses did not make him guilty of offenses 20 years earlier.

But the prosecution called his testimony “Oscar-worthy” and said it amounted to a “melodramatic denial” of his sexual inclinations.

The jury did not hear about Gadd’s 2006 conviction and three-year prison sentence for assaulting two girls, ages 11 and 12, because it happened in a Vietnamese court, outside of the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.

Four years earlier he had been deported from neighboring Cambodia, where he had traveled after leaving the UK after serving half a four-month sentence for child abuse images. The account of a former maid at the Holiday Inn in Leicester was also ruled inadmissible. She showed up at his trial with evidence that she discovered him in the bath with a girl she believed to be around 12 years old. .

His first victim, who first presented himself to police in 1998, faced a long wait for justice. A court ruled that it was not possible at that time to try him on charges related to his allegations.

Gadd also stood trial in 1999 for the alleged sexual assault of a fourth teenage fan, a former girlfriend who said she started a sexual relationship when she was 14. He was acquitted after a controversial summary, which drew complaints from children’s groups, in which the judge told the jury: “Some 14-year-old girls look like sophisticated young girls, a nightmare for many publicans.”

The case sparked a landmark ruling censoring newspaper payments to witnesses by the then Press Complaints Commission after it emerged that the woman, Allison Brown, who had waived her right to anonymity, had been paid £10,000 by the News of The World and stood to win another. £25,000 if the trial results in a conviction.

Another woman has since alleged, in an ITV documentary, that she saw Gadd having sex with a girl under 14 in Jimmy Savile’s dressing room.

This article was modified on February 6, 2015 because Watford is in Hertfordshire, not Herefordshire as an earlier version stated.

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