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Page last updated at 09:30 GMT, Thursday, 15 June 2006 10:30 UK

Glitter sex abuse appeal rejected

Gary Glitter arrives at his one-day appeal hearing
Gary Glitter has always denied he abused the girls

An appeal by disgraced British ex-pop star Gary Glitter against a three-year jail term for child sex abuse has been rejected by a Vietnamese court.

In March, the former glam-rock idol was convicted of molesting two girls, aged 11 and 12, and jailed for three years.

Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, has admitted letting a girl into his bed but denies committing abuse.

He achieved fame in the 1970s with such hits as I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am), and Do You Wanna Touch.

'Dangerous behaviour'

"We did not see enough evidence to reduce the penalty for the defendant," said chief judge Truong Vinh Thuy at the People's Supreme Court in Ho Chi Minh City.

"The decision was made based on evidence, documents and testimony of the victims.

"The behaviour of the defendant is dangerous for society, especially towards children. He needs to be punished."

Glitter, 62, shook his head several times during the reading of the verdict before shouting, as he was leaving the courtroom: "It's not a fair trial."

GLITTER IN COURT
November 1999: Glitter admits possessing 4,000 photos of children being abused. Sentenced to four months in UK prison for 54 offences of downloading porn from the internet and placed on sex offenders' register
April 2002: Questioned by Cambodian police after moving to the country. Government minister leads campaign to deport him as a "preventative measure"
December 2002: UK Foreign Office confirms Glitter has been detained in Cambodia over suspected sex offences. Deported but no specific reason is given and he later returns pending an appeal
March 2006: Jailed in Vietnam over child sex offences. Sentencing judge says: "His lewd acts have compromised the dignity of the Vietnamese people, law and common sense."
June 2006: Has an appeal against his sentence rejected by judges

His lawyer Le Tanh Kinh told the AFP news agency earlier this week that his client would continue to maintain his innocence.

When asked by waiting reporters prior to the appeal hearing what he would do if he was released on Thursday, Glitter said he would "have a beer".

The hearing was held behind closed doors.

He has 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.

During March's two-day trial, he was said to have committed a series of "lewd" acts while the girls were at his beach house in 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".

A charity calling for action to be taken to curb sex tourism has welcomed the fact that Gary Glitter has lost his appeal against his child abuse conviction.

Philippa Lei, from the charity World Vision, told BBC News 24 that the judges' decision was an important ruling.

"We're delighted at the verdict, because it sends a very strong message that these sorts of crimes against children will not be tolerated," she said.

"And the fact of the matter is that Glitter isn't the only person to go overseas and commit these sorts of crimes.

"We know that there are many British nationals who do that, and hopefully this verdict will tell them that they'll not get away with it in the future."

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.

In a BBC interview from prison last month, his first since he was convicted, Glitter denied ever abusing underage girls and blamed the UK media for his downfall.

He admitted letting a girl into his bed but said he knew "the line to cross".

video and audio news
See Gary Glitter arriving at the one-day hearing



SEE ALSO
Profile: Gary Glitter
03 Mar 06 |  UK
Gary Glitter denies abusing girls
02 May 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Glitter to appeal over sentence
16 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Glitter jailed for abusing girls
03 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific


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