Clifford given eight year prison sentence

By Neil Logan

The first case successfully tried as a result of Operation Yewtree has resulted in an 8 year prison sentence in relation to numerous indecent assaults against girls and young women.

Celebrity publicist Max Clifford, aged 71, was given consecutive prison sentences that total 8 years, with half expected to be spent in jail. The judge said that Mr Clifford would have received a much more severe sentence if the court was not obligated to adhere to the sentencing rules that were in place at the time the crimes were committed. The judge said that some of the offences would be charged as rape if they were committed today. There was also one offence involving a 12-year-old in Spain that the judge said he believed happened but Mr Clifford could not be prosecuted for because it took place before offences abroad involving British residents could be prosecuted in the UK courts.

The judge took particular offence to the behaviour of Mr Clifford after being charged and throughout the trial, saying he tried to "trivialise" the hearing, and that he showed "no remorse". He said the 8 year prison sentence took into account the "additional element of trauma caused by [his] contemptuous attitude."

It is hoped that the result of the case will encourage give victims of similar offences, whether historic or present day, faith in the ability of the judicial system to deal with offenders so that more victims come forward.