The celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sentenced to eight years following his conviction for eight indecent assaults and must serve at least four years behind bars.
Sentencing Clifford, Judge Anthony Leonard criticised his “contemptuous attitude” and “quite extraordinary behaviour” towards his victims during the trial. In his evidence Clifford maintained that his accusers were fantasists or liars.
The judge also referred to the “extraordinary” moment Clifford crept up behind Sky News correspondent Tom Parmenter while he was outside reporting on the case as indicative of his lack of remorse (see below).
The first public figure to be convicted of sexual offences under Scotland Yard’s Operation Yewtree inquiry, the 71 year old was found guilty of sexually abusing four girls following an eight-week trial at Southwark crown court in London.
The court heard how the PR mastermind, who has represented a string of stars in his more than 50-year career, used his celebrity connections to compel starstruck teenagers into performing sex acts over a period of 10 years.
The court was presented with evidence that he also impersonated Hollywood actors to lure girls into his grasp.
After deliberating for nearly 40 hours, the jury convicted Clifford on eight counts of indecent assault and cleared him of two further counts. Jurors could not reach a verdict on one additional charge of indecent assault.
Clifford’s conviction is the first for Operation Yewtree, the police investigation into historical sex offences triggered by the Jimmy Savile scandal in 2012.
Dressed in a white shirt and black coat, Clifford was seen speaking to journalists on his way into the court having declined to comment following his conviction on Tuesday.