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venerdì 6 febbraio 2015

Paedo Glam Rockstar Gary Glitter Guilty of Historical Sex Abuse

Gary Glitter, pictured performing on Top of the Pops in 1988, was one of glam rock's most glamorous stars

With his outrageous sequinned clothes, big hair and platform shoes, Gary Glitter was among glam rock's most glamorous stars.

But behind the image hid a darker side, which was slowly uncovered with a string of sex-crime convictions since 1999.

"At the height of his fame Gary Glitter was a very, very big pop star," Daily Telegraph chief music critic Neil McCormick said.

"He was always a slightly comical panto figure, and he was there on TV stomping around and having these hits that they were singing in playgrounds up and down the country."

But, said Mr McCormick, with fame and adulation had come a warped sense of right and wrong.

"There was a notion that every rock star had complete impunity to commit the crimes, the moral crimes that nobody else in society were committing," he said.

"They were behaving like Vikings raping and pillaging across pop culture.

"Gary Glitter to me is a sexual predator who exploited the possibilities of what was there."

For a few fleeting years Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, had it all.

I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am) took Glitter, now 70, to the top of the charts for four weeks in the summer of 1973.

Many who bought the single were teenage girls, overawed by a larger-than-life persona.

But as glam rock faded, Glitter's star was in decline.

By 1977 his popularity was fading and he was declared bankrupt, a situation Glitter told the court he put down to the high UK tax rate at the time and mismanagement by his business managers.

In 1999 came the revelation that was to lead to his spectacular fall from public favour.

Glitter was jailed for four months for the collection of 4,000 images of child sex abuse. He was released in January 2000 after serving two months.

He fled to Cambodia but was permanently expelled from the country in 2002, although no specific reason was given for his deportation to Vietnam.

In 2006 Glitter was convicted for molesting two girls aged 11 and 12 and jailed for three years.

His sentence was reduced by three months, and he returned to Britain in August 2008.

But six years later, police officers working on the Operation Yewtree inquiry, sparked by allegations against the late BBC radio DJ and television presenter Jimmy Savile, encountered fresh evidence of sexual abuse by Glitter in the 1970s.

His trial heard graphic evidence of his abuse of three young girls, one aged less than 10.

Peter Saunders, of the the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said the publicity surrounding such high-profile cases has touched a deep chord.

"The last couple of years, certainly since the Jimmy Savile scandal erupted, NAPAC has been deluged with calls.

"The distress seems to be building up as time goes on rather than dissipating, and I think that's because of the very high level of coverage of this issue."

In court, Paul Gadd seemed still to believe in his star status, as if he could not quite imagine the invincible figure of the glam rock era would ever be entirely forsaken.

During one of several costly attempts to revive his career that ended in failure, he revealed the same doomed optimism.

"I know they want to see me," he said.

"I only have to walk down the road and everybody is, 'Hi Gary!'"

Gadd was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on 27 February. He could face up to life imprisonment for the offence of having sex with an underage girl.

The court heard one victim was under the age of 10 when Gadd, of Marylebone, central London, tried to rape her in 1975.

She said the singer had crept into her bed as she slept and that afterwards she had felt "ashamed and dirty". She only managed to escape by moving away and then wrapping herself in sheets and blankets.

Gadd also attacked two other girls, one aged 12, and the other aged 13 or 14, after inviting them backstage to his dressing room. He had claimed he could not have abused them there because he had been cleaning his wig.

The 12-year-old was attacked by Gadd after a show at a Leicester nightclub in 1977. She was invited to his Holiday Inn hotel suite where the abuse took place after she was pushed onto a bed.

Two other indecent assaults relate to the girl who was 13 or 14 when Gadd invited her to sit on his lap in his dressing room, on a date between October 1979 and December 1980. 

Det Ch Insp Mick Orchard of the Metropolitan Police said Gadd had "shown himself to be a sexual predator who took advantage of the star status afforded to him by targeting young girls who trusted him and were in awe of his fame".

He added that "his lack of remorse and defence that the victims were lying make his crimes all the more indefensible". 

"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."

Gary Glitter trial: Singer guilty of historical sex abuse 5 February 2015

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