Victims of Gary Glitter have said they feel let down by the justice system after the serial paedophile was freed from prison halfway through a 16-year sentence for a string of “depraved and dreadful” sex crimes against children.
The 79-year-old left HMP The Verne – a low security category C jail in Portland, Dorset – on Friday morning after eight years behind bars and will now be subject to strict licensing conditions.
But one of his victims, who was raped as a 12-year-old, said that while Glitter was now free she had been left with a life sentence.
The woman, now in her 50s, said: “He should never have been let out of prison for what he did. He’s just done eight years but I’m doing a life sentence. I can never forget what this monster did to me, and I’m still struggling to deal with it. I really believe that he is still a danger to society. Who knows what he could go on to do?
“What he did to me has affected my whole family and it’s ruined my life. I feel as if I’ve been let down by the justice system and that I’ve been attacked by Glitter again.”
Another of Glitter’s victims, who is now seeking damages for her ordeal through the civil courts, said this was not the justice she had been promised.
The woman’s lawyer, Richard Scorer, of Slater and Gordon, said: “I’ve spoken to my client today and, like every victim of serious sexual assault facing early release of her abuser, today is an incredibly difficult day for her. The abuse, including repeated rapes which our client suffered from the age of 12, have left her with a life sentence.
“Paul Gadd, more commonly known as Gary Glitter, has never admitted his offences, has never apologised and has never shown any remorse. It is therefore particularly distressing and traumatic to read of him being released halfway through his sentence, albeit on licence.
“Our client feels this was not the justice she was promised and the early release devalues her suffering and that of his other victims. This is a very hard day for her, and we imagine for other victims too. Their feelings should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds at this time.”
Glitter was jailed in 2015 after being found guilty of the offence of having sex with a girl under 13, attempting to rape an eight-year-old and repeatedly molesting a 12-year-old between 1975 and 1980.
He was freed automatically halfway through a fixed-term determinate sentence despite the original trial judge saying he had done nothing to atone for his crimes. The judge, Alistair McCreath, told Glitter his sentence would have been longer if the offences had taken place today rather than in the 1970s.
It is understood the former glam rock star, worth an estimated £6 million, will have to wear an electronic tag, be banned from using the internet while unsupervised and will have to adhere to a strict curfew.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “Sex offenders like Paul Gadd are closely monitored by the police and Probation Service and face some of the strictest licence conditions, including being fitted with a GPS tag. If the offender breaches these conditions at any point, they can go back behind bars.
“We’ve already introduced tougher sentences for the worst offenders and ended the automatic halfway release for serious crimes.”
In 1975, Glitter had attempted to rape an eight-year-old girl after creeping into her bed. Two years later, he subjected a 12-year-old girl to a prolonged episode of sexual abuse after enticing her to his hotel room and plying her with champagne.
He attacked a third victim, aged 13, luring her back to his dressing room following a performance in Watford.
The allegations only came to light as part of Scotland Yard’s Operation Yewtree investigation, which was launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Glitter was the first person to be arrested as part of the huge inquiry looking into allegations of historic sex abuse by high-profile figures.
In 1999, he was jailed after admitting possessing 4,000 indecent images of children. After being freed he moved abroad, and in 2002 was expelled from Cambodia amid reports that he had abused youngsters there.
In March 2006 he was convicted of sexually abusing two young girls in neighbouring Vietnam and spent two and a half years in jail before being deported.
He returned to the UK in 2008 and was required to sign the sex offenders’ register.