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Glitter convicted of child molestation, gets 3 years

Written by: Staff

VUNG TAU, Vietnam, Mar 3 (Reuters) A Vietnamese court today jailed British ''glam rocker'' Gary Glitter to three years in prison for molesting two young girls.

Judge Hoang Thanh Tung described in graphic detail the offences by the 1970s pop icon in the southern resort town of Vung Tau, drawing gasps from Vietnamese in the courtroom.

He said the 61-year-old Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, ejaculated on the belly of one of the underage girls and had another urinate into his mouth.

''The court pronounces the defendant, Paul Francis Gadd, also known as Gary Glitter, guilty of engaging in lewd acts with children,'' the judge said.

Defence lawyer Le Thanh Kinh said Glitter would be eligible for parole one year from when he was first detained, in November 2005, as is customary in Vietnam.

Glitter had 15 days to appeal but had not yet decided whether to do so.

''That comes from him, not from me,'' Kinh told reporters.

The black-shirted Glitter, who was told by the judge to remove his red bandana, stared ahead impassively as the sentence was read out in a courtroom packed with foreign journalists.

But afterwards he lashed out at an unnamed British newspaper he blamed for his troubles.

''It's a conspiracy. You know who. One of Great Britain's newspapers,'' he told Reuters as he was escorted into a prison van by 10 green-uniformed policemen.

He has already spent more than three months of pre-trial detention in a two-man cell at a windswept concrete prison, surrounded by AK-47-toting guards, mould-encrusted walls and coils of rusting razor wire.

However, British consular officials given access to Glitter said he remained in good health. They also had no complaints about his handling in communist Vietnam since his arrest in November while trying to leave the country.

''He is treated well under Vietnamese law and that's all we can ask for. We are in Vietnam, not in the UK,'' said Paul Higham, the British vice-consul in Ho Chi Minh City.

''As far as I know, he is well.'' REUTERS PR SP1018

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