Six years after Channel 4 broadcasted a mock documentary called ‘The Execution of Garry Glitter’, the downfall of the singer formerly known as Paul Gadd is complete.
Having been convicted of various sexual offences against children, he was sentenced on 27th February to 16 years in prison.
The sentencing remarks have been published. They are clear, commendably brief, and well worth a read.
There were three victims, and the facts against each one are as follows (taken verbatim from the Sentencing Remarks):
A – Count 1 (Attempted Rape) – 7 years
An 8 year old child, a friend of your daughter, was an overnight guest in your home. You went to the room in which these two little girls were sleeping together in a double bed and you made a determined, although ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to rape her
B – Counts 3, 4 and 6 (Indecent Assault x 2 and Unlawful Sexual Intercourse) – 4, 4 and 8 years
The 12 year old victim came with her mother to one of your concerts. You invited them both to your hotel and created a situation in which her mother was taken out of your suite of rooms to another place, leaving you with this sexually inexperienced child. All of this happened because and only because of your fame. You kept her in your room all night. You penetrated her vagina with your finger and performed oral sex on her. You had full sexual intercourse with her.
C – Counts 9 and 10 – 1 year on each
The 13 year old victim of these offences visited your dressing room after a performance. She was left alone with you for a few minutes. You put her on your lap, you kissed her in a manner that was sexual and touched her vagina, albeit over her clothing
The Judge sets out the sentences as they would be under the guidelines in force today. He states “I must sentence you in accordance with the sentencing regime applicable today, not at the date of the offence. But I am limited to the maximum sentence available at the time of the offence.”
We have a fact sheet on historic offences. The Courts have shifted their position in the last five years, and now the approach is to ignore what the proper sentence would have been when the offence was committed, and pass the sentence as it would be today, provided that it was a sentence that could be lawfully passed.
The starting point is the Sentencing Guidelines. Nowadays the most serious offence would be the Attempted Rape and the Unlawful Sexual Intercourse (both which would be charged as rape (or attempted rape) of a child under 13. The guidelines here are at page 27. The Judge heard the trial and he is in the best position to assess where in the guidelines it falls.
Will he appeal?
I imagine so. There’s very little to lose.
As to the conviction, there is an obvious question as to whether Mr Gadd could have had a fair trial. This was not just the case of his past misdeeds being ‘out there’, but for the last fifteen years his name has been synonymous with paedophilia, to the extent that there was a tv programme considering his execution. I doubt that this will get very far though (and it should be noted that as the Stuart Hall rape trial shows juries are pretty robust).
Although the sentence is far in excess of what he would have got had he been sentenced at the time the offences were committed, on the basis of current sentencing practice whilst it does still seem higher that we would have thought, it us unlikely to be considered to be manifestly excessive.