LONDON — British former pop star Gary Glitter on Friday was sentenced to 16 years in prison for child sex abuse offenses he committed more than three decades ago.
Glitter, 70, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was convicted this month of one count of attempted rape of a girl under the age of 13, one count of having sex with a girl under the age of 13 and four counts of indecent assault against girls.
He was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court in London for the six offenses, committed against three victims between 1975 and 1980. There is no statute of limitations for such offenses in the UK.
Glitter was known as a “glam rocker” in the 1970s for his flamboyant clothes and performing style. He sold 18 million records with hits such as “I’m the Leader of the Gang (I Am!),” “I Love You Love Me Love” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
Detective Chief Inspector Michael Orchard of London’s Metropolitan Police praised the courage of the abuse victims in coming forward to police.
“Paul Gadd has shown himself to be a habitual sexual predator, who took advantage of the star status afforded to him by targeting young girls who trusted him and were in awe of his fame,” Orchard said. “His lack of remorse and defense that the victims were lying make his crimes all the more indefensible.”
Glitter was the first person to be arrested under the police’s Operation Yewtree, set up in 2012 in the wake of a flood of sexual abuse allegations against the late radio and TV star Jimmy Savile and others.
Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84, was revealed after his death to have been one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders. British police say more than 200 victims — between ages 5 and 75 — have been identified.
Glitter had been prosecuted previously on sex charges.
In 1999, he admitted possessing child pornography and was jailed for four months. While living in Vietnam, he was convicted of sex offenses against young girls and jailed for nearly three years before being deported to England.
Glitter is the latest celebrity to be accused or convicted of historic sex offenses. Last year celebrity publicist Max Clifford was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for assaults on girls, while Australian entertainer Rolf Harris was jailed for five years for indecent assaults against four girls.