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The BBC's Jane Peel reports
"He was close to breaking down as he made an emotional statement"
 real 28k

The BBC's Jane O'Brian
It's possible he would want to move abroad"
 real 28k

Geoff Dobson Association of Chief Probation Officers
"Offenders of this type are obliged to keep the police informed of their whereabouts"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 11 January, 2000, 13:06 GMT
Emotional Glitter speaks of 'regret'

Gary Glitter faces the media outside Regent's Park

Shamed pop star Gary Glitter, freed on Tuesday after being jailed on child pornography charges, has spoken of his "deep regret" over his offences.

The disgraced pop star was smuggled out of prison on Tuesday morning, after serving two months of a four-month sentence imposed after he admitted 54 charges of possessing child pornography downloaded from the internet.

I want to put it all behind me and live my life
Gary Glitter
Prison officials made special arrangements for him following anonymous death threats.

But in an emotional photocall, hastily arranged in Regent's Park, central London, Glitter said: "I deeply regret doing what I was sent to prison for.

"I have served my time. I want to put it all behind me and live my life."

Death threats

Wearing a black jacket and his trademark wig, Glitter arrived for the photocall in a red Mercedes with blacked-out windows.

He emerged from the passenger seat and removed his dark sunglasses before posing briefly for photographers and then making his short statement.

Immediately afterwards he left without answering any questions.

A blacked out prison van sped Glitter to freedom
The disgraced star left prison in Bristol shortly after 8am, in a marked police Peugeot Boxer van, which sped past waiting photographers.

Glitter is reported to have been kept separated from other prisoners during his sentence.

The threats to the singer took the form of letters which are understood to have been sent to his friends and to the prison.

The Prison Service declined to comment on the threats but a spokesman said: "Due to serious concerns over the prisoner's safety and public order around the prison, alternative arrangements have been made for the release of Paul Gadd (Glitter's real name) from Bristol prison."

The 55-year-old singer will be put on the sex offenders' register for seven years, but he is free to travel abroad.

Future in Cuba?

It is not known what Glitter will do now, although he is believed to have sold his house in Wedmore, Somerset, leaving only a home in London.

A police officer on duty at Regent's Park for the photocall said Glitter would be leaving for Heathrow airport and a flight out of the country later on Tuesday.

Fans parked their car at the prison and played Glitter hits on the stereo
Glitter has 14 days to inform police of his address in Britain but if he decides to remain abroad will not have to give details to the British authorities.

There is speculation he will leave Britain and begin a new life in Cuba with his Cuban girlfriend Yudenia Sosa Martinez, 26.

The showman first became a focus of police inquiries when he took his computer to be repaired at a shop near Bristol, and staff spotted the photographs.

The singer admitted making indecent images of children under 16 between January and November, 1997.

He had downloaded material from the internet, that included images of girls as young as two being abused.

His admissions came just hours after a trial jury cleared him of eight charges of sexually assaulting an underage fan, Allison Brown, who is now 34 years old.

Her publicist Max Clifford said Glitter's statement did not constitute an apology.

"I think that the British public will be very disappointed that this is all he has got to say," he said.

"I should think Gary Glitter will find it extremely difficult to get on with his life in this country and I will be amazed if the British public allow him to put it all behind him as easily as this."

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See also:
10 Jan 00 |  UK
What next for celebrity prisoners?
12 Nov 99 |  UK
All that Glitters isn't gold
12 Nov 99 |  UK
Glitter jailed over child porn
17 Nov 99 |  UK
Glitter drops sentence appeal

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