The publicist Max Clifford has been found guilty over indecent assault against young girls and woman between 1977 and 1985 and was sentenced to jail for 8 years. He becomes the first person to be convicted under Operation Yewtree.
Clifford was given the maximum sentence possible in accordance with the laws at the time his offending took place. If he was tried under today’s laws some of the offences would be considered rape which can hold a life sentence.
The maximum sentence was partly because of Clifford’s attitude in court having been observed laughing and shaking his head while the accusations were made against him.
The Judge said: “I find your behaviour to be quite extraordinary and a further indication that you show no remorse.”
He added: “These offences may have taken place a long time ago, when inappropriate and trivial sexual behaviour was more likely to be tolerated, but your offending was not trivial, but of a very serious nature.”
Clifford remained defiant until the end, claiming his accusers were “fantasists” and proclaiming: “I stand by everything I have said in the last 17 months.”
Since the conviction Scotland Yard has confirmed other people have come forward with fresh allegation against Clifford. The spokesman said: “We have received further information and this is currently subject to review.”
During the trial the prosecution told how Clifford’s actions have ruined the lives of the four women. In a statement read out by the prosecution it revealed one woman would cry whenever she saw him on TV and how a woman – 15 years old at the time – missed out on her first sexual experience with someone her own age.
The investigation into Cliffords crimes is part of Operation Yewtree which was set up to investigate the offences of British media personality Jimmy Savile and others. The sentencing has taken some pressure off the prosecution after a string of not guilty verdicts have been given to other media personalities being investigated.
Since the beginning of Operation Yewtree over 200 potential victims have been identified and 400 lines of enquiry have been opened.
The prosecution has applied for Clifford to pay costs of £66,704.
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