Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Glitter child abuse sentence cut

Gary Glitter
Glitter was jailed last year for abusing two girls

Pop star Gary Glitter has had his three-year child molestation sentence in Vietnam reduced by three months.

Glitter, real name Paul Francis Gadd, was convicted of the sexual abuse of two Vietnamese girls in March 2006.

Tran Thi Thien Huong, a judge on the deciding panel, said the decision under a national amnesty means Glitter will now be released in August 2008.

The incidents involved two girls aged 10 and 11 from the southern coastal city of Vung Tau.

Vietnam traditionally reduces the sentences of inmates with good prison records as part of a nationwide Lunar New Year jail amnesty.

November 1999: Admits possessing 4,000 photos of children being abused. Sentenced to four months in the UK and placed on the sex offenders' register
April 2002: Moves to Cambodia where there is a government campaign to deport him as a "preventative measure"
December 2002: Detained in Cambodia over suspected sex offences. Deported but later returns pending an appeal
March 2006: Jailed in Vietnam over child sex offences. Judge says "his lewd acts have compromised the dignity of the Vietnamese people"
February 2007: His three-year sentence in Vietnam is reduced by three months under a nationwide amnesty. He is set to be released in August 2008

Glitter could have had his sentence reduced by up to half under the amnesty.

Glitter's lawyer had earlier told journalists his client could be freed from Thu Duc prison, in the south of the country, in as little as a week.

The panel of three judges said they had to balance Glitter's good behaviour in prison with the seriousness of the crimes he had committed. Other amnesties could reduce his sentence further.

Christine Beddoe, director of child protection group Ecpat UK, said she was "disappointed" that Glitter's sentence had been cut.

"Ecpat UK fully believes that Paul Gadd should serve the fullest sentence in order to protect children in Vietnam and the rest of the world," she said.

"We believe that the British government must request his deportation at the end of his sentence and immediate return to the UK, and he should be put on the sex offenders' register."

After a two-day trial that attracted a great deal of media attention, Glitter was jailed and ordered to pay 5m Vietnamese dong (180/$315) to his victims' families. He has been in jail since November 2005.

Child pornography

Ahead of the decision, Glitter's lawyer, Le Thanh Kinh, was optimistic that the judges would reduce the sentence.

He said: "Glitter is an old man and he is not in good health. And he has paid compensation to the victims as required by the court."

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

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

video and audio news
Gary Glitter arrives at court

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02 Feb 07 |  Asia-Pacific
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15 Jun 06 |  Asia-Pacific
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03 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Gary Glitter
03 Mar 06 |  UK

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