Seven years' jail for pop mogul Jonathan King

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The Independent Online

Jonathan King, one of the pop industry's most flamboyant personalities, was beginning a seven year jail sentence on Wednesday night after being found guilty of sex offences against five boys.

The court heard how he used his celebrity status to lure the victims to his home on the pretext of conducting market research in to youth culture.

The verdicts on four counts of indecent assault, one of buggery and one of attempted buggery during the mid-1980s were reached during a trial in September. Reporting restrictions were lifted yesterday after the prosecution decided not to proceed with two more hearings involving a further six alleged victims.

King was driven to Belmarsh Prison, south London, maintaining his innocence. A statement on his personal website said: "It is grossly unfair that criminal prosecutions can take place going back over 30 years ... simply on one person's word against another."

Sentencing him at the Old Bailey in London, Judge Paget said King had abused the trust the boys, and often their parents, had placed in him, resulting in several still suffering from psychological problems. He told King: "You used your fame and success to attract impressionable, adolescent boys."

The fall of Jonathan King has sent shock waves through the music industry. This was the man who sold 4.5m copies of his debut single, "Everyone's Gone to the Moon", while still at Cambridge University; who helped launch bands such as 10cc and the Bay City Rollers; who became a top record company executive; ran the Brit Awards and broadcast from the UK and America. He sold millions of records in his own right and under various pseudonyms.

His friend, the former Radio One DJ Paul Gambaccini, said last night: "It is so difficult ... to reconcile the two truths, of someone who is capable of high amusement and knowledge and low behaviour."

Detective Inspector Brian Marjoram, who led the investigation, said: "We have achieved justice today for King's victims. He got the best defence money could buy ... But the jury saw through his deceit and justice was seen to be done."

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