Gary Glitter, the disgraced pop star who was convicted of sexually abusing three schoolgirls, has been released from prison after serving half of his 16-year sentence.
The paedophile glam rock singer – who had a string of chart hits in the 1970s – was jailed in 2015. Reports say 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.
Glitter 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.
Here is everything you need to know.
What did he do?
When Glitter was at the height of his success, he preyed on his vulnerable victims, believing that nobody would take any claims of abuse seriously over the word 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, and tried to rape his third victim in 1975 when she was only 10 years old by sneaking into her bed.
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.
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.
What is Gary Glitter’s net worth?
According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, Glitter is estimated to possess a net worth of around $8 million (£6.5 million).
Does he still receive royalties?
Before his career came crashing to an end amid a snowstorm of sexual abuse allegations, Glitter had some genuine pop hits. His songs included ‘I’m The Leader Of The Gang (I Am)’, ‘I Love You Love Me Love’ and ‘Always Yours’ - by 1975 he had sold 18 million records.
Over the years, questions around whether Glitter still stood to benefit financially from his songs being used while he was in prison arose.
Perhaps most notably, in 2019’s Joker - starring Joaquin Phoenix as a particularly unhinged version of the Batman villain - one sequence prominently featured his song ‘Rock and Roll Part 2’, leading to rumours that Glitter could be paid a six-figure fee as one of the two acknowledged songwriters.
But according to Snapper Music, the record label that owns the rights to Glitter’s discography, “Gary Glitter does not get paid – we’ve had no contact with him”. The Universal Music Publishing Group said: “Gary Glitter’s publishing interest in the copyright of his songs is owned by UMPG and other parties, therefore UMPG does not pay him any royalties or other considerations.”
What are the conditions of his release?
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.