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Gary Glitter recalled to prison just weeks after paedophile pop star’s release

Disgraced 78-year-old has been filmed talking about accessing the dark web

Andy Gregory
Monday 13 March 2023 19:00 GMT
Gary Glitter recalled to prison after breaching license conditions

Gary Glitter has been sent back to prison after breaching his licence conditions, the Probation Service has said, just weeks after the paedophile pop star was freed from jail.

The disgraced 78-year-old was released from Dorset’s HMP The Verne in February after serving half of his 16-year sentence for sexually abusing three young girls.

But footage filmed by another prisoner at his bail hostel emerged this weekend showing Glitter – whose real name is Paul Gadd – using a smartphone and talking about accessing the dark web, which allows users to access illegal and violent content.

Glitter was convicted at Southwark Crown Court in 2015 (Getty)

Any re-release is now a matter for the Parole Board. A Probation Service spokesperson said: “Protecting the public is our number one priority. That’s why we set tough licence conditions and when offenders breach them, we don’t hesitate to return them to custody.”

Glitter, initially known for a string of hits in the 1970s, carried out attacks at the height of his fame on girls aged 12 and 13, separating them from their mothers by taking them backstage to his dressing room at one of his shows.

His third victim was less than 10 years old when he crept into her bed and tried to rape her in 1975.

The allegations only came to light four decades later when Glitter became the first person to be arrested under Operation Yewtree, the probe launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

He was previously jailed in Vietnam and expelled from Cambodia (Reuters)

He had previously been jailed for four months after admitting possession of 4,000 indecent images of children, and was expelled from Cambodia three months later following reports of sex crime allegations.

He was then jailed for two-and-a-half years in March 2006 for sexually abusing two girls, aged 10 and 11, in Vietnam, prior to his conviction in the UK in 2015, when he was found guilty of attempted rape, unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 13, and four counts of indecent assault.

Following his automatic release in February from HMP The Verne – a low-security category C jail – halfway through his fixed-term sentence, Glitter was subject to licence conditions, including being closely monitored by the police and Probation Service, and fitted with a GPS tag.

The former glam rock singer had a string of hits in the 1970s (Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

But expectations were swiftly raised that he would be returned to custody after The Sun on Sunday published footage appearing to show Glitter discussing search engines which protect user’s privacy.

“Shall I get rid of this duck duck?” he asks, to which another voice replies: “Yeah, I wouldn’t bother using that if I were you.”

Glitter then asks: “So what do I do next, then? Let’s try and find this onion. One step at a time.”

He is believed to have been referring to search engine DuckDuckGo, and the encrypted Tor networks, many of which have .onion URLs, which are used to access the dark web.

“This is extremely disturbing and shows that he’s attempting to access material he should not be accessing,” former detective superintendent Michael Hames, who set up the Metropolitan Police’s Paedophile Unit, told the paper.

Additional reporting by PA

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