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Gary Glitter takes to witness box to give evidence in sex trial

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Former pop star Gary Glitter has taken to the witness box to give evidence in his trial for a string of historic sex offences against young girls. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Former pop star Gary Glitter has taken to the witness box to give evidence in his trial for a string of historic sex offences against young girls. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

PA

Former pop star Gary Glitter has taken to the witness box to give evidence in his trial for a string of historic sex offences against young girls. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Former glam rock singer Gary Glitter has taken to the witness box to give evidence in his trial for a string of historic sex offences against young girls.

Dressed in a navy double-breasted gold-buttoned jacket, black T-shirt, dark glasses, and cream and black patterned scarf, the 70-year-old spoke clearly as he took the affirmation and set his fedora hat aside.

Jurors have already heard that, when arrested by police in July 2013 in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, Glitter denied sexually abusing the girls, and said he could not remember the incidents described.

Referring to the allegations of the girl who claimed he plied her with champagne before having sex with her, the singer told detectives he did not recall the "vague" circumstances from 36 years ago that had been set out.

Glitter - real name Paul Gadd - is accused of one count of attempted rape and another of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 13 in 1975.

In relation to a second complainant, he is charged with four counts of indecent assault when she was under the age of 13 in 1977.

He is also accused of plying the girl with alcohol with the intention to "stupefy or overpower" her to have sex with him between January and May 1977, and a further count of unlawful intercourse with the girl.

In connection with a third complainant, who was under the age of 16, he is charged with two counts of indecent assault between October 1979 and December 1980.

Glitter found fame in the 1970s as part of the glam rock scene, scoring number one hits with I'm The Leader of the Gang (I Am), I Love You Love Me Love and Always Yours.

The singer, from Marylebone in central London, denies all the charges against him at Southwark Crown Court.

Defending Glitter, Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC, asked him: "Did you sexually assault any of these young girls?"

He firmly replied: "No I did not."

When asked if it had been easy to precisely recall the dates being referred to - almost 40 years ago the singer said "absolutely not".

He added: "I have been relying on my autobiography to charge my memory a little bit and I believe that is pretty accurate.

"We cross-referenced on the internet just to find out find out their dates etc."

Jurors were told that the softly spoken and "profoundly deaf" singer, who is giving evidence with the help of lip-speak interpreters, has a "medical condition" which means he may need to take breaks throughout the day.

The court heard that Glitter was born in May 1944 and spent his early life with his mother in a maternity home for unmarried women.

He told jurors: "I never met my father and I don't know what his name was."

The singer smiled fondly as he remembered his "lovely, wonderful" Uncle John, who played a huge role in bringing him up.

He also told jurors of the start of his music career, making reference to Elvis Presley.

Glitter said: "I would definitely have not got into the business if it was not for Elvis. He was like a king then."

But the former chart-topper accepted that it may have been performing on stage to tens of thousands of people that damaged his hearing.

"I am absolutely certain it must be," he said.

He recounted how he began his career under the name Paul Raven, but created the Ivor Novello award-winning act of Gary Glitter with the help of star producer Mike Leander.

Ms Bennett-Jenkins asked her client about his hit record Rock And Roll Part 2, which still features heavily in American football games, and whether it was performed at his concerts.

Glitter replied: "Yeah, absolutely - all of these records were in my act.

"It (Rock And Roll Part 2) was always (used) to bring me on. And we used to have a heartbeat."

To imitate the sound, the singer then began beat-boxing in the witness box.

PA Media