Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Glitter TV complaint turned down

Ofcom turned down a complaint from convicted sex offender Gary Glitter about a television mockumentary portraying his execution

Media watchdog Ofcom has turned down a complaint from convicted sex offender Gary Glitter about a television mockumentary that portrayed his execution for child sex offences.

The show, called The Execution of Gary Glitter, was set in an imagined version of the United Kingdom which had reintroduced capital punishment for serious sexual offences against children.

It followed Glitter's fictional arrest and a subsequent - and also fictional - Old Bailey trial, while human rights groups and death penalty supporters clashed over their opposing views.

The disgraced glam rocker, real name Paul Gadd, complained he was treated unfairly by the Channel 4 programme which mixed real footage of him with dramatised scenes where an actor played him.

He said it could lead viewers to conclude he had committed "terrible crimes" for which he was not punished.

Gadd, who was jailed in Vietnam for sexually assaulting two girls aged 10 and 11 and later deported back to the UK, said that he was never prosecuted in Vietnam for child rape.

A report from Ofcom found "viewers may not have been clear at all times about precisely where fact and fiction overlapped. However, because the programme as a whole was clearly fictional, and the parts of the programme concerning the charge of child rape were clearly in a fictional context the Committee found that viewers would not have reached the conclusion that Mr Gadd was guilty of more serious crimes which had gone unpunished as a result of any assertions made in this drama programme".

Channel 4 said the programme, which was broadcast on November 9 2009, was "not sensationalist and was not intended to be forensic examination of Mr Gadd's sexual activities".

Ofcom found in view of Gadd's "well-publicised reputation in relation to child sex offences" there was "likely to be little scope for additional damage to his reputation".

Gadd was imprisoned in this country for possessing pornographic images of children on his computer in 1999 and was ordered to sign the sex offenders register.

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