Paedophile pop star Gary Glitter has been freed from prison after serving half of his 16-year sentence for sex crimes against children
The disgraced glam rock singer – who had a string of chart hits in the 70s and 80s – was jailed in 2015 for sexually abusing three schoolgirls. The PA news agency understands the 79-year-old left HMP The Verne – a low security category C jail in Portland, Dorset – on Friday, 3 February, after eight years behind bars.
He was freed automatically half-way through a fixed-term determinate sentence. The sex offender will now be subject to licence conditions. NationalWorld reported in December that Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was due to be released imminently.
Glitter was at the height of his fame when he preyed on his vulnerable victims who thought no-one would believe their claims 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. His third victim was less than 10 years old when he crept into her bed and tried to rape her in 1975.
The allegations only came to light nearly 40 years later when Glitter became the first person to be arrested under Operation Yewtree – the investigation launched by the Metropolitan Police in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Sentencing the singer, Judge Alistair McCreath said all the victims were “profoundly affected” by the abuse. He said it was “difficult to overstate the gravity of this dreadful behaviour” when referring to the assault on one victim, telling Glitter he was able to attack another “only” because of his fame.
The court heard there was no evidence Glitter had atoned for his actions after he was found guilty of one count of attempted rape, one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 13, and four counts of indecent assault. He later lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his conviction.
An offender who is convicted of a sexual offence is released on a strict licence. The terms of the licence can include staying in an approved premise, obeying a curfew and having GPS tagging, not having unsupervised contact with children and restrictions on internet usage.
Victims’ families can also be protected from unwanted contact through exclusion zones being set up. If offenders breach the conditions, the Probation Service can recall them to prison.
Glitter’s fall from grace occurred years earlier after he admitted possessing 4,000 child pornography images and was jailed for four months in 1999.
In 2002, he was expelled from Cambodia amid reports of sex crime allegations, and in March 2006 he was convicted of sexually abusing two girls, aged 10 and 11, in Vietnam and spent two-and-a-half years in jail.