Glitter back in London and in disgrace over child abuse

Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:31am EDT
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By Luke Baker

LONDON (Reuters) - Gary Glitter, a British singer who spent three years in a Vietnamese jail for child sex abuse, returned to London on Friday after failing to find sanctuary in Asia.

Glitter, famous in the 1970s and 80s for songs such as "Hello, Hello, I'm Back Again" and "I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am)," arrived at Heathrow airport after an overnight flight on Thai Airways from Bangkok.

He was met by police and escorted away under the flashing bulbs of a pack of paparazzi photographers.

At a court hearing outside London hours after his arrival his lawyer failed in a bid to prevent him having to sign the sex offenders' register, a list of convicted pedophiles kept by the police. His lawyer David Corker said the ruling could be appealed.

"He tells me that his trial in Vietnam - a country which has been condemned by virtually every organization concerned with justice and human rights as being a system of unfair justice and political trials - was a charade, was a travesty of justice," Corker told reporters.

"He never got a fair trial and in due course that will be expanded upon."

Glitter, 64, was released from jail in Vietnam on Tuesday after serving almost all his three-year sentence. He was then flown to Bangkok for a connecting flight to London, but failed to board the flight saying he had ear and heart problems.

He wandered Bangkok airport for nearly 24 hours despite being declared persona non grata in Thailand. He then flew to Hong Kong but was rejected by Chinese authorities. After returning to Bangkok, he was put on the flight to London.   Continued...

<p>British rocker Gary Glitter walks at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport August 20, 2008. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang</p>