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Gary Glitter is now barely recognisable from the brash, ebullient star of 1970s glam rock.

In his prime, Glitter had enormous stage presence, his diminutive 5ft-6in given considerable stature with the addition of platform heels and inflated hair.

He sold 18 million records in five years in the early '70s and enjoyed transatlantic success.

Glitter was born Paul Gadd in Banbury, Oxfordshire, in 1944 and began his search for fame in his teenage years as a singer on the club circuit. At the age of 28 he finally made it. He got in at the start of the glam craze in 1972 and was propelled to stardom by the Glitter persona he invented.

His breakthrough hit, Rock And Roll (Parts One And Two), reached the top 10 in both the US and UK.

During the trial at Southwark Crown Court, one of his victims said Glitter had a phobia about people touching his hair.

Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC, defending, told the jury that the singer did not shower backstage because he did not want people to know that he was "pretty bald".

The glam era was bright but short, and as it fizzled out Glitter found himself divorced, bankrupt and struggling with alcohol abuse. His retirement came as no surprise.

In the '80s and '90s he enjoyed occasional comebacks.

Then in November 1997 his laptop computer was serviced and an engineer found thousands of child porn images saved on its hard drive. Glitter was sentenced to four months, serving half.

Glitter left the country, living off royalties estimated at PS100,000 a year. He was discovered living in Spain and moved to Cuba and then to South-East Asia.

He was kicked out of Cambodia in 2003 and moved to Thailand and then to Vietnam. Glitter was arrested trying to board a flight after allegations that he molested two girls, aged 11 and 12, at his home in the town of Vung Tau.

He was convicted in 2006 and spent almost three years in prison.

After his release he returned to the UK in 2008 and has a home in Marylebone, central London.

In October 2012 he became the first person to be arrested as part of Operation Yewtree, the national investigation launched in the wake of abuse claims against Jimmy Savile.


Gary Glitter at <B court this week

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 6, 2015
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