A Vietnamese court reduced former British rocker Gary Glitter’s child molestation sentence today (Feb. 7), cutting his three-year term by three months as part of a nationwide Lunar New Year prison amnesty, a judge said.
Glitter, convicted of molesting two Vietnamese girls, will now be released in August 2008, said Tran Thi Thien Huong, a judge on the deciding panel. Vietnam traditionally reduces the sentences of inmates with good prison records just before Tet, as the Lunar New Year is known in Vietnam.
The 62-year-old Glitter, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, was convicted in March 2006 of committing “obscene acts with children.” The incidents involved two girls, ages 10 and 11, from the southern coastal city of Vung Tau. He has been jailed since November 2005 and is being held at the Thu Duc prison in Binh Thuan province.
Under Vietnamese law, the panel could have reduced his sentence by as much as 18 months, but prison authorities had recommended just a three-month reduction and the judges agreed.
“We all agreed that obscene acts with children should be condemned,” Huong said. “We need to protect children from those kinds of crimes.” Glitter was convicted in Britain in 1999 of possessing child pornography and served half of a four-month jail term. He later went to Cambodia but was expelled from that country in 2002. Cambodian officials did not specify a crime or file charges against him.