August 21, 2008

Glitter Barred From Hong Kong


Paedophile pop star Gary Glitter was refused entry to Hong Kong last night after flying there from Thailand, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

Chinese authorities informed their UK counterparts that they had barred the 64-year-old from the country after his arrival at 11pm local time (1600 BST).

Glitter, travelling under his real name of Paul Gadd, had flown to the Chinese territory from Bangkok where he had refused to board a flight to London's Heathrow airport.

In what is becoming a farcical merry-go-round as the disgraced pop star desperately bids to avoid returning to the UK, sources said Chinese authorities were considering returning Glitter to Thailand.

He arrived in Hong Kong on the TG 602 Thai Airways service after spending more than 20 hours in the transit lounge at Bangkok airport following his release from a Vietnamese prison on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "It is a matter for the Chinese authorities to decide what action they take now."

Immigration police at Hong Kong airport said privacy laws meant they could not comment on Glitter's case.

Glitter flew from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok on Tuesday night and was due to board a connecting flight to Heathrow but refused.

He was barred entry into Thailand and immigration officials said Glitter would be taken to a detention centre if he continued to refuse to leave the country.

Lieutenant General Chatchawal Suksomchit, the chief of Thailand's immigration police, said Glitter was denied entry because under Thai immigration laws those convicted of child sex abuse in a foreign country could be barred.

Yesterday afternoon, Thai Airways and Thai Police confirmed that he had boarded a flight to Hong Kong.

Glitter served two years and nine months of a three-year sentence for abusing two girls aged 10 and 11 in Vietnam.

Earlier, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said Britain could not enforce Glitter's return but must have a plan if he did return.

If and when he arrives in the UK, he will be met at the airport by police officers and served with an order which effectively will put him on the sex offenders' register.

Asked about Glitter while on a visit to special constables in Tooting, south London, Ms Smith said:

"What I am concerned about is, whoever the individual sex offender is, that we have in place the necessary provisions to monitor them."

Ms Smith yesterday announced tighter controls on the movement of paedophiles.

But she dismissed a suggestion that the Government had wanted a "celebrity paedophile" to promote the crackdown and had found it "embarrassing" that Glitter had not come home.

"No paedophile is a celebrity, every paedophile needs to be controlled," she said.

She told GMTV Glitter was "despicable" and said it was "pretty hard to imagine it would be legitimate for him to travel abroad again".

The announcement included increasing the length of foreign travel orders preventing convicted paedophiles from going abroad, from six months to up to five years.

Glitter was treated for a heart condition while in prison and he has said he wants to return home to the United Kingdom for treatment.

Glitter and an evil sex trade, P31

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