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Glitter 'tried to rape schoolgirl'

Former glam rock singer Gary Glitter tried to rape a schoolgirl, plied another with champagne before assaulting her and abused a young fan in his dressing room, a court heard.

He attempted to rape a girl under 10 after creeping into her bed, but she managed to escape his clutches by moving away and falling into a protective "cocoon" of sheets and blankets, jurors were told.

John Price QC, opening the case for the prosecution at Southwark Crown Court, said that Glitter - real name Paul Gadd - had tried to force himself on the girl in the mid-1970s.

He added: "She only managed to prevent him from succeeding by moving away from him in the bed until she had moved so far, that she remembers she fell into the 'envelope' or 'cocoon' formed at the edge of the bed by the fact that the covers and blankets had been tucked beneath the mattress."

It is alleged that the day after the attack, Glitter acted as if nothing had happened and gave the girl chocolate.

Around four years later, the former chart-topper is said to have pounced on the youngster again, pushing her onto a bed after asking for a "cuddle".

Although the alleged victim confided in her mother and friends, it was more than two decades before she went to police with her claims, after seeing that the singer had admitted child pornography charges in 1999, the court heard.

Dressed in a navy suit jacket, grey and dark blue striped jumper and wearing a cream and black patterned scarf, the singer stared straight ahead, occasionally shaking his head as the case against him was opened.

The aurally impaired singer followed proceedings with the help of lip-reading interpreters.

Jurors were told that in November 1997 Glitter was arrested when he went to pick up a Toshiba laptop that had been serviced at a Bristol PC World.

The engineer who examined the machine discovered images on it related to child pornography - images depicting a full range of sexual activity taking place between men and very young children.

Mr Price said: "It encouraged her (the alleged victim) to report to the police, for the first time, what she says he had done to her.

"It seemed to her that recent events in Bristol - as she understood them to be from the publicity - offered a better chance that she might be believed when accusing so famous and popular a man of so dreadful a crime."

Glitter is also accused of molesting two "young fans" whom he met while touring the country.

In each case, the girls are said to have first met the singer in his dressing room after a concert that their mothers took them to.

The similarities stretched to each girl initially being introduced to Glitter in the presence of her mother, and the mother then being persuaded to leave her daughter alone with him, jurors heard.

One woman claims she was just 12 when Glitter plied her with champagne and then assaulted her after one of his 1977 concerts in a Leicester club called Baileys.

After the second performance she is said to have gone with her mother to Glitter's dressing room, before both of them were invited to his Holiday Inn hotel suite.

Mr Price told jurors: "It was there, in his hotel bedroom, her mother having been taken elsewhere by someone else, that she says he subjected her to a prolonged episode of sexual abuse involving a full range of sexual activity culminating in intercourse, prior to which he plied her with alcohol - champagne."

Jurors also heard that the teenager was subjected to a similar ordeal in a Birmingham hotel room when she was 13 years old.

Mr Price continued that there was no doubt that the woman, now 50, attended the concerts and that she had provided photos of her at the event, some of which showed ice buckets of champagne.

Glitter's alleged third victim was also attacked backstage after one of his performances in another club called Baileys, in Watford, Hertfordshire.

A newspaper advert from the time shows that he performed at the venue in October 1979 when the girl was aged just 13, jurors heard.

Glitter allegedly kissed the girl and "touched her between the legs" after asking the schoolgirl's mother to leave them alone.

Mr Price told jurors: " The issue presented for your decision in the case of the complaints of these two women - as they now are - is again a stark decision.

"Have both of them chosen to subject themselves to the ordeal of giving evidence in a public court about how a famous man came to indulge himself sexually with them whilst they were each still a child simply because that is what happened, or are they here falsely to accuse him?"

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

In relation to a second complainant, he is charged with four counts of indecent assault when she was under the age of 13 in 1977.

He is also accused of plying the girl with alcohol with the intention to "stupefy or overpower" her to have sex with him between January and May 1977.

And Glitter faces one charge of unlawful intercourse with a girl aged under 13 between the same dates in relation to the same girl.

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.

Glitter from Marylebone, central London, denies the charges.

The two-week trial was adjourned until 2pm tomorrow.

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