Campaigners condemn Glitter sentence cut

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The Independent Online

Campaigners seeking to protect children were "disappointed" today after Gary Glitter's child-molestation sentence was cut by a Vietnamese court.

The former glam rocker's three-year jail term was reduced by three months as part of a nationwide Lunar New Year prison amnesty.

The singer, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was sentenced to three years in jail in March 2006 for assaulting the girls aged 11 and 12. He has been in prison since November 2005.

He will be released in August 2008, said Tran Thi Thien Huong, a judge on the deciding panel.

Vietnam traditionally reduces the sentences of inmates with good prison records just before Tet, as the Lunar New Year is known in Vietnam.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "Mr Gadd received a sentence reduction of three months, bringing his release date forward to August 2008."

Christine Beddoe, director of Ecpat UK, the British arm of the international campaign to End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes, said: "We are disappointed to hear of a reduction. Ecpat UK fully believes that Paul Gadd should serve the fullest sentence in order to protect children in Vietnam and the rest of the world.

"We believe that the British Government must request his deportation at the end of his sentence and immediate return to the UK and he should be put on the Sex Offenders' Register."

Le Thanh Kinh, the 62-year-old singer's lawyer, has been quoted as saying: "Glitter is an old man, and he is not in good health. And he has paid compensation to the victims as required by the court."

He was ordered to give 5 million Vietnamese dong (£180) to the girls' families after his conviction.

In 1999, Glitter was jailed for four months in Britain for possessing child pornography.

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