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Last Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006, 12:11 GMT
Glitter jailed for abusing girls
Gary Glitter

Former British rock star Gary Glitter has been jailed for three years after a Vietnamese court found him guilty of sexually abusing two young girls.

The court found that Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, had molested the girls, aged 11 and 12, at his home in the resort town of Vung Tau, southern Vietnam.

The 61-year-old, who insisted he was innocent, said the "unbelievable" verdict was part of a "conspiracy".

On his release, he will be deported and could face more charges in Britain.

Although he will definitely be deported, it is not guaranteed that he will return to the UK.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "It is up to the country issuing the deportation to decide where they deport them to."

Compensation

In addition to the prison sentence, Glitter has been ordered to pay 5m Vietnamese dong (180/$315) to his victims' families.

During the two-day trial, most of which was held behind closed doors, he was said to have committed a series of "lewd" acts while the girls were at his beach house in Vung Tau.

I'm afraid there will be other cases like this one
Nguyen Thi Bich Lien
CD shop owner, Vung Tau

Sentencing Glitter, Judge Hoang Thanh Tung said: "His lewd acts have compromised the dignity of the Vietnamese people, law and common sense, and therefore it is necessary to punish him."

The judge later told reporters he believed Glitter understood he had "a sickness".

The singer - who stood accused of kissing, fondling and engaging in other sexual acts with the girls - last year evaded more serious charges of child rape, which carry a maximum penalty of death by firing squad.

'Conspiracy'

After he was sentenced, Glitter told gathered journalists: "I haven't done anything - I am innocent. It is a conspiracy by you know who."

He suggested some British newspapers were part of a conspiracy against him.

As he was led away from the courthouse and into a prison van, Glitter, sporting a white goatee beard, held a clenched fist in the air.

The ex-rock star shot to stardom in the UK in the 1970s with hits such as Rock and Roll (Part 2) and Leader of the Gang - a No 1 single in the UK in 1973.

Known for his flamboyant stage persona and extrovert costumes, he continued touring for most of the 1980s and 1990s.

'Considering appeal'

He may be considered for release after serving a third of his jail term, which includes the four months he has been held in custody since his arrest.

His lawyer said his client had not yet decided whether to appeal against the decision.

The British embassy said in a statement: "Both the UK and the Vietnamese governments take the issue of child-sex tourism extremely seriously.

Gary Glitter
Glitter as he appeared during his music career
"We are grateful to the Vietnamese authorities in permitting UK-Vietnam police liaison in this case, as part of wider ongoing UK-Vietnam police liaison on the issue of sex tourism."

Barrister Tim Kevan told the BBC that Britons committing child-sex offences abroad could be prosecuted in UK courts.

In Glitter's case, he said it was "highly unlikely" he would be prosecuted for the same crime, but that UK authorities would look into whether any other offences had been committed.

UK conviction

He had been in custody since 19 November when he was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City as he was about to board a flight out of Vietnam.

In December, Glitter's lawyer made compensatory payments to the families of the girls, who later appealed to the courts for clemency for Glitter.

Glitter was convicted of possessing child pornography in Britain in 1999 and served half of a four-month jail sentence.

He later went to Cambodia, which permanently expelled him in December 2002.

He had been held in jail for three nights over suspected sex offences, but never convicted of a crime in Cambodia.

Glitter had previously left the country voluntarily in May that year, following a police investigation prompted by news of his child pornography conviction in the UK.




SEE ALSO:
Glitter charged with obscene acts
06 Jan 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Glitter police 'drop rape charge'
26 Dec 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Glitter 'admits to girl at house'
08 Dec 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Four month detention for Glitter
25 Nov 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Glitter 'denies abuse charges'
22 Nov 05 |  Asia-Pacific



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