Hersham PR guru Max Clifford gets eight years in prison for indecent assaults
Shamed celebrity publicist Max Clifford has today been sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of eight counts of indecent assault earlier this week.
This morning, Rosina Cottage QC, prosecuting, read victim impact statements to the court, stating the effect Clifford’s crimes and his appearance on television had on them.
Max Clifford's police mugshot was released by the Met following today's sentencing
In the first statement read to the court, Ms Cottage said one victim, who was 15-years-old at the time, did not do well in her O-levels as a result of the offence and said her relationships with her family also suffered.
Ms Cottage also said the abuse was the victim’s first sexual experience which “should have been in a loving relationship with someone her own age”.
In a victim impact statement relating to the second woman, Ms Cottage said the pressure of what happened with Clifford made her relationship with a partner break down and said the woman found the court experience “terrifying”.
The woman said she also found it threatening to see Clifford appearing on television.
In the third victim’s impact statement, Ms Cottage said the woman felt ashamed about getting upset at what had happened to her, was scared of what she would be exposed to and felt the police would not believe her.
The third victim also said she was “furious” to see Clifford on television commenting on the Jimmy Savile scandal.
In the final statement read to the court, Ms Cottage said the fourth women felt she had a “skeleton in the closet” that she was unable to talk about.
Impact statements were only read out for the victims of the offences Clifford was found guilty of. Ms Cottage also told Judge Anthony Leonard that the crown will not be seeking a retrial for the count which the jury were unable to make a decision on.
In mitigation, Richard Horwell QC, defending, told the judge that Clifford’s age and physical condition should be taken into consideration when deciding on his sentence.
Mr Horwell said: “The last date on the indictment is December 1984. That means there followed a period of over 29 years in which there has been no offending. That would be a powerful factor in Mr Clifford’s favour.
“The public does not requirement protection from him today.
“Mr Clifford has been extensively involved in charitable work for many years. It has never been suggested he used his connections to various charities to further facilitate his offending.
“He has not given just his money to charity but his time. This court heard that he did not seek publicity for his involvement.”
The crown will also be seeking costs of £66,704.52 from Clifford.
Judge Leonard also told the court that since Clifford was found guilty on Monday, he had seen a video of him mimicking a Sky News reporter outside the court at some point during his trial.
The judge said: "Since the jury have returned verdicts I have discovered that you appeared behind a reporter outside the court whilst he was making his report of your evidence and during which you mimicked his actions in a way that was designed to triviliase these events.
"I find your behaviour to be quite extraordinary and a further indication that you show no remorse."
Clifford was remanded in custody as he awaited his sentencing today at 2pm. The judge said he would face a minimum of eight years for the incident of a girl under 15, and sentenced Clifford to consecutive sentences for his crimes.
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