Gary Glitter arrested as part of Savile investigation

By | Published on Monday 29 October 2012

Gary Glitter

One-time popstar Gary Glitter was arrested this weekend and questioned by police investigating the child abuse allegations made against the late Jimmy Savile.

As of late last week, police confirmed they were pursuing 400 lines of enquiry relating to a possible 300 abuse victims of Savile, who died a year ago today. Victims across the country, mainly female, though some male too, have come forward to make allegations about the DJ and TV star after the screening of an ITV documentary at the start of the month, in which a handful of women first publicly claimed to have been sexually abused by Savile when they were young teenagers.

With allegations that some of the abuse happened on BBC premises, and with the embarrassment that the BBC’s ‘Newsnight’ canned its own investigation into sex abuse allegations against Savile late last year, just before the Beeb aired tribute shows to its former star, the Corporation has also launched two independent investigations into its handling of allegations against the DJ, both recent and in the past.

Hospitals where Savile fund-raised and also, seemingly, abused young girls, are also likely to investigate past management decisions regards the presenter’s access to patients, while two charities set up in the star’s name have been wound down. Even family members of Savile are now talking to the media about their disgust regards their relation’s conduct.

Since the Savile scandal erupted, it’s been clear others were likely to be investigated as police responded to allegations against the former DJ, with allegations reportedly also being made against other stars and behind-the-scenes players from the both broadcasting and music industries who were linked to Savile in his hey day in the 1970s.

And Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, was always high up the list of contenders for arrest, given that Karin Ward, one of the first women to go public about Savile’s abuse of her and others at the former Duncroft Approved School For Girls in Surrey, alleged in an interview with the BBC that she had once seen the former popstar having sex with another school girl in Savile’s dressing room at the BBC.

Gadd’s pop career, of course, all but came to an end when he was jailed for four months in 1999 for downloading thousands of images of child abuse to his PC (notably, as he fell out favour, one of the few media personalities to defend Gadd’s actions was Savile). He subsequently fled the country, eventually residing in Vietnam, where he served more time in jail over allegations of sexual abuse of minors, though initial charges of child rape, which would have resulted in the death penalty, were dropped. After completing his jail term, the former glam rocker was deported back to the UK.

Gadd has always denied any wrongdoing in the various child abuse allegations made against him, and denies the latest allegations too. He was bailed until mid-December after being questioned in a London police station yesterday.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that a man “in his 60s” had been arrested yesterday as part of Operation Yewtree, the Met’s investigation into the plethora of claims against Savile. On Gadd’s arrest, the police spokesman said: “The man, from London, was arrested at approximately 7.15am on suspicion of sexual offences. The individual falls under the strand of the investigation we have termed ‘Savile and others'”.

According to the Mirror, “many more people” will be quizzed in the coming days regards the allegations against Savile and others said to have abused teenagers with him. Mark Williams-Thomas, the former police detective who led the ITV News investigation into claims against the late star, has reportedly said some of those that face child abuse claims related to the Savile scandal are “people of significant standing”.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the pop courts, Gadd’s estranged son Paul was among the latest batch of celebrities to begin legal proceedings against News International last week, over allegations journalists at the News Of The World hacked his voicemail in the year’s following his father’s conviction for downloading images of child abuse.

The News Corp-owned newspaper publisher is still facing mountains of legal action relating to phone hacking undertaken by staff at the now defunct Sunday paper, though in PR terms some of the heat has been taken off the company as its rival, Trinity Mirror, faced, for the first time, its own litigation over allegations of phone hacking last week.