Former pop star Gary Glitter must stay in prison, parole panel decides
Paul Gadd, known as the former pop star Gary Glitter, has lost a hearing to be freed from prison, where he is serving a sentence for sexually abusing girls.
Gadd, 79, was automatically released from prison in February 2023, halfway through a 16-year sentence – but was recalled just six weeks later for allegedly viewing downloaded images of children.
A hearing of the Parole Board, the independent body that carries out risk assessments on prisoners to determine whether they can be safely released, has concluded Glitter should not be released at this time. His sentence expires in February 2031.
After a private hearing last month, the board published its decision on Wednesday: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the lack of progress made while in custody and on licence, and the other evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was not satisfied that release at this point would be safe for the protection of the public. Rather, the panel considered that Mr Gadd was appropriately located in custody, where outstanding levels of risk could be addressed.”
Gadd’s probation officer said he could not be safely managed in the community. The panel found that “greater internal controls and open and honest disclosure by Mr Gadd would be needed to manage his risks safely in the community”.
The summary of the Parole Board panel’s decision said: “It found on the evidence that at the time of the offending, and while he was on licence, Mr Gadd had a sexual interest in underage girls. There was also concern about the lack of victim empathy which he had continued to show.”
While his behaviour in prison had been generally good, he had not taken part in any programmes to address his offending because he continued to deny having a sexual interest in children.
Gadd was first jailed in 1999 for four months for possessing thousands of child abuse images. 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 – sexually abusing three schoolgirls between 1975 and 1980 – came to light as part of Operation Yewtree, the Metropolitan police investigation launched after the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Gadd was automatically released from HMP The Verne, a low-security prison in Portland, Dorset, in February last year after serving half of a fixed-term determinate sentence.
Richard Scorer, a lawyer representing one of Gadd’s victims, said: “This is the right decision and in our view the only decision that the Parole Board could have made. Everything we know about Gadd/Glitter indicates that he remains a risk to children and has never shown any remorse.
“Releasing him would have been utterly wrong and we are glad the Parole Board has done the right thing. We only hope that Glitter will now serve this full sentence – it is completely unfair that our client has to endure this Glitter parole circus over and over again.”
He will be eligible for another parole hearing in about a years’ time. If the Parole Board does not recommend him for release in future, he will walk free when his sentence expires in February 2031, when he would be 86.