To enjoy the full Mail & Guardian online experience: please upgrade your browser
22 Aug 2008 08:39
Shamed 1970s glam rocker Gary Glitter finally arrived in his native Britain on Friday, ending a farcical merry-go-round of Asian airports after the convicted paedophile was kicked out of Vietnam.
The Thai Airways flight carrying him from Bangkok landed at London Heathrow three days after he was released from a Vietnamese prison and then rejected by Hong Kong and Thailand.
Glitter (64) real name Paul Gadd, was to be immediately interviewed by police and required to sign Britain’s sex offenders’ register.
The disgraced singer will then have to tell police where he intends to live and notify them if he moves.
He may also be monitored by police and the probation service under Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements.
Glitter is also certain to receive a hostile press.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has branded Glitter “despicable”, adding that she found it “pretty hard to imagine” that he would be allowed to travel abroad again.
The flamboyant showman was released from a Vietnamese jail on Tuesday after serving nearly three years for committing obscene acts with two girls aged 11 and 12.
He had initially been booked to fly to London that night via Bangkok, but refused to get on the plane, instead remaining in a transit lounge in Bangkok before agreeing to take a flight to Hong Kong.
Chinese authorities refused him entry, however, and he was sent back to Thailand, where he had also been declared persona non grata.
Glitter (64) was the dazzling king of the glam era, characterised by performers in sequinned dress and extreme make-up.
He sold more then 20-million records and had a string of stomping hits like I’m The Leader Of The Gang (I Am) and Rock and Roll (Parts 1 and 2).
Complete with extravagant make-up, bouffant wigs, silver jumpsuits and high boots, the singer notched up three British number one records in the 1970s with a cheerfully anarchic brand of music based on the “Glitter Stomp”: a thumping drum beat and simple instrumental riffs.
But his fading career was dealt a fatal blow when he took his computer in for repairs in 1997. Thousands of hardcore child pornography images were found on its hard drive.
He was sentenced in 1999 to four months in prison on child pornography charges, of which he served two.
Keen to avoid the media, Glitter moved to Cuba and then Cambodia, which expelled him in 2002, allegedly for trawling for underage sex.
Having settled in Vietnam, where a British newspaper reported he was living with an underage girl, he was arrested at Ho Chi Minh City airport in November 2005 while trying to leave for Thailand.
In March 2006 he was sentenced to three years in prison, the minimum term under Vietnamese law, which was later cut by three months.
The singer maintained his innocence, blamed a media conspiracy and claimed he was teaching the girls English and allowed them to stay overnight because they were scared of ghosts.
He has spoken about trying to revive his music career and penning a book that he says would exonerate him.
Create Account | Lost Your Password?