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Glitter released on bail as Savile sex probe widens

BRITISH police arrested convicted sex offender and former pop star Gary Glitter yesterday as part of an investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by Jimmy Savile.

Glitter was released on bail some 10 hours later. But the arrest -- the first to be reported in the case -- widened a scandal that has already damaged the reputation of the BBC and the legacy of Savile, a former DJ who was one of the broadcaster's top show hosts and a prolific charity fundraiser.



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A police statement said a man in his 60s had been picked up just after 7am on suspicion of sexual offences in the investigation termed "Savile and others". The statement did not name the man and a spokesman declined further comment.

The BBC and Sky News identified the man picked up from his London home as Glitter, a 68-year-old who was a popular glam-rock singer in the 1970s.

Footage showed Glitter, who was wearing a hat and sunglasses and was not handcuffed, leaving a flat in London and being driven away. Hours later, television showed investigators carrying large black bags as they left the house.

Police later said the man was "bailed to return to the police station in mid-December 2012, pending further inquiries".

Glitter, born Paul Gadd, shot to fame in the early 1970s with the hit Rock And Roll, in his trademark figure-hugging shiny silver all-in-one suits, platform shoes and large black hair.

Glitter served two months in jail in Britain in 1999 for possession of child pornography. He then moved to Cambodia, but was deported in 2002 due to suspected sex offences.

In 2006, a Vietnamese court convicted him of committing obscene acts with two girls aged 10 and 11 and sentenced him to four years in jail. On his release he returned to Britain.

Allegations that Savile sexually abused young girls for decades first emerged in an expose on ITV.

Since then, police say some 300 victims had come forward.

Victims' allegations broadcast by ITV include claims from one woman that she had seen Glitter having sex with an underage girl in Savile's BBC dressing room while Savile abused another girl.

Glitter has denied the claim, according to the BBC.

With the scandal widening, public outrage has increased. A cottage in the Scottish Highlands that belonged to Savile was vandalised overnight, with abusive slogans painted on its walls, local police said.

The scandal has raised troubling questions about the BBC's management and its past workplace culture. Revelations that an investigation by Newsnight, the BBC's flagship TV news show, was shelved last December led to claims bosses at the broadcaster knew about the allegations but kept quiet.

When Savile died in October last year aged 84, his gold coffin went on public display and he was lauded as a "national treasure" who had raised millions of pounds for charity.

A year later, police describe him as "undoubtedly" one of Britain's most prolific sex offenders, and the Vatican said a papal knighthood given to Savile decades ago for his charity work "should not have been bestowed".

hnews@herald.ie


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