PR guru and Hersham resident Max Clifford has been found guilty of eight of 11 charges of indecent assault.
Clifford, 71, of Onslow Road, pleaded not guilty to all 11 charges at his trial, which has taken place at Southwark Crown Court for the past eight weeks.
The NSPCC posted on Twitter: “Max Clifford has rightly been unmasked as a ruthless and manipulative sex offender who preyed for decades on children and young women.”
The jury, made up of 10 people, spent eight days in deliberation.
One juror was discharged from the trial after it became clear they knew one of the witnesses and a second juror was discharged while the jury was in deliberations.
Judge Anthony Leonard told the remaining 10 jurors, six men and four women, on Wednesday, April 23, that he would accept a verdict of 9-1 but said they should try to reach a unanimous verdict.
The charges related to seven different women, with the offences dating back to between 1966 and 1984.
Throughout the case, Clifford repeatedly denied the claims to media waiting outside the court and called his arrest and prosecution “a nightmare”.
Clifford is a patron of a number of charities based in and near the borough, including Woking and Sam Beare Hospice and Shooting Star Chase. He has also contributed vast amounts of money to Oasis Children’s Charity, Cobham.
Clifford was arrested by detectives from Operation Yewtree in December 2012 and was charged in April 2013.
He is the first person to be found guilty as part of the investigation, which was launched by Scotland Yard after claims were made against Jimmy Savile.
Clifford has been bailed and will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, May 2.
The verdicts in full
- Count one: One indecent assault relating to a 14-year-old girl in 1966 – verdict not reached
- Count two: One indecent assault relating to an 18-year-old woman in 1975 – not guilty
- Counts three to six: Four indecent assaults relating to a 15-year-old girl in 1977/78 – guilty of all
- Count seven: One indecent assault relating to a 19-year-old woman in 1978 – not guilty
- Count eight: One indecent assault relating to a 20-year-old woman in the early 1980s – guilty
- Counts nine and 10: Two indecent assaults relating to a 17-year-old woman between 1982 and 1984 and another outside that period - guilty
- Count 11: One indecent assault relating to an 18-year-old woman in 1984 – guilty