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Glitter sobs over child porn case

Gary Glitter broke down in tears as he tried to explain to jurors why he had been in possession of child pornography images.

Sobbing uncontrollably in the witness box, the 70-year-old said he had been in a bad place in his life, and was struggling financially, with alcohol and with drugs.

He issued a tearful apology to his fans saying: "I lost my own dignity, and I am so sorry. I am very sorry.

"I am sorry today and every day of my life ever since. I am sorry to my fans."

In November 1997, when Glitter went to pick up a Toshiba laptop he had given for servicing at a Bristol PC World, he was arrested, Southwark Crown Court in London heard.

The engineer who examined the machine had discovered images on it related to child pornography.

Glitter subsequently admitted responsibility for a "large number" of images - depicting a full range of sexual activity taking place between men and very young children - being on his computer.

Glitter - real name Paul Gadd - is accused of one count of attempted rape and another of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 13 in 1975.

Glitter is also accused of two counts of indecent assault with regard to another fan he is said to have assaulted after inviting her to his dressing room after a concert between October 1979 and December 1980.

In connection with a third complainant, who was under the age of 16, he is charged with two counts of indecent assault between October 1979 and December 1980.

The singer, from Marylebone in central London, denies all the charges against him.

In cross-examination, prosecutor John Price QC, asked the singer: "Why were you looking at pictures of men having sex with young children?"

Immediately breaking into sobs and reaching for a tissue, Glitter replied: "I was in a very bad place in my life at that time and I had a lot of very serious decisions to make about my future."

He added that he had invested £200,000 in his own career, and that his record company and fans were demanding a lot from him.

Glitter continued: "By the time I had taken my computer to PC World, I then had other allegations come in so the lawyers' fees and the lawyers' bills were tremendous. And I also missed my girlfriend who lived in Cuba. I couldn't get her out of Cuba."

Breaking down again, the singer continued: "I still can't get her out of Cuba."

Holding his head in his hands and taking off his glasses to wipe away tears, Glitter addressed Judge Alistair McCreath, saying: "Forgive me my lord, it has been devastating for me."

After taking a couple of minutes to compose himself, the former chart-topper told the court he had accepted responsibility for the images and had been to prison.

"I was drinking heavily, I was doing drugs, and the other thing of course is that I had to find this money to pay for the legal costs and studio, and I was asked by my management to seriously do the one thing which was absolutely terrible - which was to sell my songs.

"To sell my songs to Universal Pictures, and I regret it.

"I was just in a bad place. I went to prison, I came out. I was remorseful and I am remorseful. I am so sorry. It changed my life forever. I lost my honour, I lost my family."

Glitter added that he was just in the most "awful, awful place".

He told the court that at that stage in his life he was not able to empathise with the child victims of the indecent images that were found on his computer, but added that he now recognised the damage caused to the vulnerable youngsters.

The singer said: "It has to stop, all this internet pornography of children. It has to stop, no doubt about, no doubt about."

When asked again by Mr Price why he had looked at the images, Glitter said he did not know, but may have simply been "curious".

He added: "I was abused as a child so maybe I was trying to work my own feelings out.

"Today it would not happen, I have no interest in looking at that awful porn now.

"Absolutely no interest at all, it has destroyed my life, it has destroyed my family's life and it has most likely destroyed all those poor victims' lives - I have total empathy for those poor children."

Mr Price suggested that Glitter had been aroused by the pictures, but the star denied this saying that he had "paid" for it, and reiterated that he had no sexual interest in children.

"God knows I have paid for it," he sobbed.

Glitter was then quizzed about the accusation that he tried to rape a schoolgirl after climbing into her bed.

It is alleged that the youngster was lying in bed with a friend when the singer is said to have attacked her in 1975.

But Glitter said he had no recollection of the little girl, asserting that he did not try to rape her.

He added that he had no clue why she had made up the allegations.

"I can't say why anybody would dislike me," Glitter told jurors.

"I did not try to rape her or any other child."

The singer continued: "I have absolutely racked my brains to wonder why she could say such a terrible thing."

When asked by Mr Price if he would be interested in raping a young girl, Glitter replied: "Absolutely not, why would I do something like that?

"I have always got girlfriends around me, plenty of women around me, why would I want to do something like that?"

Mr Price suggested that it was because in 1997 he seemed to have an interest in underage sex, as his conviction for child pornography indicated.

"I ventured into all sorts of porn in which that awful stuff appeared. I pleaded guilty to it, I was guilty of it and I went to jail, and I have been remorseful ever since," Glitter replied.

One woman claims that when she was just 12 she was plied with champagne backstage before Glitter invited her up to his hotel suite and had sex with her.

Giving evidence she told jurors how the singer had regaled her and her mother with tales of how Spike Milligan was after him with a gun.

Mr Price asked Glitter if he knew the comic's wife and ever told stories about her.

He replied: "I think I must have told a story about her. I think Spike Milligan's wife came to my home after meeting up with them in a restaurant in Kensington. She got pretty out of it.

"We were drinking quite a lot, I think she stayed the night and Spike said 'what has happened to my wife, I need to know'.

"I said 'nothing has happened to your wife, she's just sleeping at my home'. And so I may have exaggerated it with the band because Spike Milligan is a great character.

"I must've said 'Spike is gunning for me'.

"I did not have improper relations with her - she managed to stay the night at my flat."

Glitter added that he did not tell his alleged victim the story, and that she may have heard it from members of his entourage with whom it was a "well known story".

Mr Price asked Glitter about a "coded knock" the alleged victim remembered being issued before she was allowed into the star's dressing room.

The singer replied: "It wasn't necessary in the venues. It sometimes might have been necessary with my PA, so that I would know who is outside the hotel."

He added that it was very hard for him to believe that either the girl or her mother had been to his dressing room.

Mr Price asked: "Do you know of any reason why (she) should falsely accuse you of the things she says you did to her on those occasions?"

"I have no idea why she said those things," Glitter responded, saying that although he had no knowledge of any financial motivation, it was not unheard of.

Dressed in a brown blazer, burgundy scarf and his trademark dark glasses, the former star asserted: "I don't know her so I don't know, but it is not the first time that people have made allegations about me and received money."

Jurors heard that as far as Glitter was concerned the allegations from all three women were "definitely not true".

The court has heard that in the mid-1970s Glitter's management concocted a story that he was retiring "for love", something that the singer went along with in an effort to boost concert sales.

Jurors heard that in his 1999 autobiography Glitter described his involvement in the ruse as an "Oscar winning performance".

Mr Price said: "What each of these three ladies has told us is true, isn't it? And you Mr Gadd are an accomplished liar."

Glitter firmly replied: "I am not a liar. I believe that I have told the truth all through this, all through my life actually.

"These allegations are very, very damaging and very hurtful and I can't understand why they should make these allegations at all."

After a full morning of cross-examination, Glitter finished giving evidence.

He is accused of one count of attempted rape, seven counts of indecent assault, and two other sexual offences.

The case has adjourned until Monday, when the defence case will resume.

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