A Vietnamese court today convicted former British glam rocker Gary Glitter of molesting two underaged Vietnamese girls and sentenced him to three years in prison.
Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, was found guilty of committing obscene acts with a 10-year-old and 11-year-old girl at his rented seaside villa in southern Vung Tau last year. The judge also said Glitter would be deported from Vietnam after serving his sentence.
The court, in its verdict, cited graphic testimony from the girls that Glitter had fondled and molested them multiple times in his rented home and in nearby hotels.
One girl said he had ejaculated on her stomach, while the other girl said he had her urinate on him. The details drew gasps from the crowd.
In reading out the verdict, Judge Hoang Thanh Tung condemned Glitter for paedophilia.
"Caring for children is to care for our future... but Gary Glitter's acts went against this," the judge said. "He sexually abused and committed obscene acts with children many times in a disgusting and sick manner."
The former glam rocker showed no emotion while the verdict was read, but threw the court into disarray by proclaiming his innocence afterward.
"I haven't done anything. I'm innocent. It's a conspiracy by you know who," Glitter shouted, apparently referring to British tabloid newspapers that had tracked down his presence in Vietnam.
Reporters and onlookers, allowed into the courthouse in southern Ba Ria-Vung province to hear the verdict following the closed two-day trial, pressed toward Glitter in a scene of pandemonium as police fended them off and escorted him out of the building.
He has 15 days to appeal his innocence. His attorney Le Thanh Kinh said Glitter would be eligible for parole in a year, after he serves one-third of his time.
Former glam rocker Glitter, a 1970s pop icon in Britain famed for his sequinned jump-suits, platform heels and bouffant wigs, sported a more conservative look for his trial: black clothes and a red bandana on his head that he removed inside the court.
Glitter, who looked visibly thinner since his arrest, has been held at Phuoc Co prison outside Vung Tau since November 19, when he was caught at the Ho Chi Minh City airport trying to board a flight for Bangkok. Police confiscated his laptop, which had hundreds of pornographic pictures on it.
Glitter, who hit his musical peak in the 1970s, had hits with "Leader of the Gang" and "Do You Wanna Touch" but is perhaps best known for his crowd-pleasing rock anthem "Rock and Roll (Parts 1& amp;2)," which is still played at sporting events.
His fall from grace began with a conviction in Britain in 1999 for possessing child pornography. He served half of a four-month jail term.
He later went to Cambodia and in 2002 was expelled from that country, but Cambodian officials did not specify any crime or file charges.
Glitter's conviction abroad means that he could not be prosecuted on the same charges in the UK.
But if new evidence came to light, he could face charges under the Sex Offences Act 2003 which covers "sex tourism" abroad.
The 70s singer - currently on the sex offenders register after his 1999 conviction for possessing child porn - will be put back on the register for the latest offences if he returns to the UK when he is deported from Vietnam.
A Home Office spokeswoman would not comment on Glitter's case but said people who commit sex offences overseas were put on the register if they lived in the UK.
HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said sales of Glitter's music in the UK were "negligible" but he may still be receiving royalties from North America and Canada.
Glitter's 1972 hit Rock And Roll, Part Two is used by ice hockey clubs there to whip up support.
Following his 1999 conviction, some clubs stopped playing his music but others have continued.
Mr Castaldo said: "During ice hockey games they play a lot of Gary Glitter music, and then there's the air play on radio.
"I suspect that if he does have significant income from royalties, it comes from North America.
"But people should not forget that a lot of the songs were not penned by him but were written by other people.
"There's also the possibility that, when he was successful, he invested in property which could also generate income."Reuse content