Jonathan King found guilty of abuse

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The Independent Online

Pop impresario Jonathan King was today beginning a seven-year prison sentence for molesting schoolboys.

King "exploited his celebrity" to lure the boys to his central London home where he seduced them with sexy pictures of girls, the Old Bailey was told.

King, 56, of Queensborough Studios, Bayswater, central London, was found guilty of six charges of sexual assault involving five boys aged between 14 and 15 between 1982 and 1987.

But the trial in September could not be reported until today because King faced three other trials for similar offences.

The second trial alleging he committed serious sexual offences against two boys in the 1970s collapsed yesterday.

The prosecution offered no evidence after one of the victims said he could have been 16 at the time - taking him over the age of consent.

Following a meeting between lawyers and police, the court was told today that it had been decided that the prosecution would not proceed with the other cases.

King's defence counsel said today he would be appealing against conviction.

King had been questioned about assaults on boys over four decades from the 1960s to the 1990s. The complainants contacted police after news reports that King was arrested in November last year.

The Cambridge-educated singer, producer and television personality, whose showbiz career spans 36 years, was remanded to Belmarsh prison, south London, following the findings of guilt on September 27.

The five complainants, now aged mainly in their early 30s, said in their evidence that they trusted King because he was famous.

King was charged under his real name of Kenneth King. His brother Andrew and agent Chris Poole were in court to see him convicted.

A stream of celebrities, including lyricist Sir Tim Rice, gave evidence to his character in court - but none was aware of the details of the sordid allegations against him.

David Jeremy, prosecuting, told the jury that King had carved out a successful career as a pop singer, record producer, radio and television presenter and journalist.

"Through his own efforts and talents, he has achieved fame and a degree of fortune which often accompanies fame," he said.

King admitted the boys had been to his home but said there had been no sexual contact."It's all lies," he said.

He said he spoke to thousands of youngsters about their tastes in music, which allowed him to produce hits such as the recent Who Let The Dogs Out.

But the prosecution said King's "market research" provided him with a cover for his the real reason why he wanted to befriend young men from modest backgrounds.

King had a Top 10 hit with Everyone's Gone to the Moon in 1965 before completing his MA in English Literature at Cambridge.

He went on to run Decca records and his own record company UK Records. He was involved in producing records for or founding the Bay City Rollers, Genesis and 10cc.

King has also presented the BBC television programme Entertainment USA in the 1980s, stood twice for Parliament as an independent, and has written books.