Gary Glitter parole hearing to take place in private

An application for pop star Gary Glitter to have his parole hearing held in public has been rejected.

The disgraced performer, who had a string of hits in the 1970s, is due to be considered for release in January.

But the hearing will take place behind closed doors because of difficulties contacting all his victims.

Richard Scorer, the lawyer for one of them, said the decision was “entirely wrong” and “disappointing.”

Glitter, 79, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was jailed in 2015 for sexually abusing three schoolgirls between 1975 and 1980.

A dark van driving through a stone archway.
A prison vehicle leaves HMP The Verne on Portland, Dorset, on the day that Glitter was released in February (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Less than six weeks after walking free, he was taken back to prison in March for breaching his licence conditions by allegedly viewing downloaded images of children.

In her decision, chairwoman Caroline Corby said holding the hearing in public could risk identifying the children in the downloaded images, who are potential victims of sexual offences and have a lifelong right to anonymity.

It is also not known whether all the victims Glitter abused supported the application for the hearing to take place in public.

She said: “The panel will need to consider the circumstances of the recall and whether the images that Mr Gadd allegedly downloaded are indicative of a continuing sexual interest in children.

“The children in these images are potentially victims and any discussion in a public setting could have the potential to identify them.

“It is unknown whether all victims of the index offences wish for the hearing to be held in public and there is a risk that if this hearing were held in public, it could retraumatise them.”

She said there are concerns over sensitive operational information linked to Glitter’s recall to prison being disclosed publicly.

“It follows that whereas I have deep sympathy for Mr Gadd’s victims, I do not grant the application for the hearing to be held in public,” she concluded.

The Parole Board said it would consider arranging for victims to view the private hearing.

Gary Glitter in 1999
Paedophile Gary Glitter in 1999 when he was convicted of possessing thousands of images of child abuse (Barry Batchelor/PA)

“This man represents a serious continuing danger to children and the principle of open justice demands that the public be able to see how a decision of this seriousness is arrived at.

“The parole board have stated that they want to improve public understanding of their work – this is an opportunity for them to do so, and it is disappointing that they have opted for secrecy over transparency in this case.”

Glitter’s fall from grace began in the late 1990s when he was jailed for possessing thousands of child abuse images and was jailed for four months in 1999.

In 2002 he was expelled from Cambodia amid reports of sex crime allegations, and in March 2006 he was convicted of sexually abusing two girls, aged 10 and 11, in Vietnam and spent two and a half years in jail.

The offences for which he was jailed in 2015 came to light as part of Operation Yewtree, the Metropolitan Police investigation launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

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