Hong Kong refuses entry to British paedophile

August 21st, 2008 - 12:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Hong Kong, Aug 21 (DPA) Disgraced British glam-rock star Gary Glitter was believed to be headed back to Bangkok Thursday after a bid to enter Hong Kong failed.The convicted paedophile was hoping to recover from his nearly three-year Vietnamese prison ordeal in the former British colony after he refused Wednesday to board a plane to Britain from Bangkok.

However, he found Hong Kong’s door firmly closed to him on arrival late Wednesday with the British Foreign Office saying later that he had been denied entry and was expected to be deported back to Thailand Thursday morning.

Thailand has already barred the Briton from entering the country as an “undesirable”, so it was unknown where Glitter would travel next or whether Thai officials would force him to take the next connecting flight to London.

Glitter flew into Bangkok on a Thai International Airways flight Tuesday after being released from two years and nine months in a Vietnamese prison for sexually abusing two preteen girls.

He deplaned at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, where he refused to board his flight to London, claiming to be suffering chest pains.

A checkup found Glitter fit to travel, but he had already missed his scheduled flight to London.

He did not board the next available flight but instead spent more than 20 hours in transit while officials tried to coax him onto an international flight.

Hong Kong was a destination he had talked about going to in an interview with Vietnamese media while he was still in prison.

Thai Airways confirmed Glitter had landed in Hong Kong around 11 p.m. Wednesday, but he never emerged into the arrivals hall.

Hong Kong immigration officials have refused to confirm or deny whether the disgraced star has landed in Hong Kong, maintaining their usual policy of saying the department does not comment on individual cases but considers each application in accordance with the law and individual circumstances.

However, the British foreign office said Glitter had been denied entry and would be deported back to Bangkok Thursday morning.

The British consulate in Hong Kong said Glitter had been in touch with it requesting assistance but said the matter of his deportation was a Hong Kong immigration issue.

Glitter, 64, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was arrested at the Ho Chi Minh City airport in Nov 2005 as he tried to catch a flight to Bangkok after being accused of sexually assaulting two girls, aged 11 and 12, in Vietnam.

He received a three-year sentence, which was reduced by three months during a Vietnamese New Year amnesty.

During his time in prison, Glitter was diagnosed with a heart problem, and he was expected to seek medical treatment in Britain, where he was expected to be met by police to be entered into the national registry of sex offenders.

Glitter’s first arrest on charges related to child sex laws was in Britain in 1997 when thousands of images of child pornography were found on his computer after he took it to be repaired.

He was sentenced to four months in prison and served two before resettling in Southeast Asia.

The British press tracked him down in Cambodia and Vietnam and wrote articles accusing him of abusing local children, which led to his arrest and conviction.

Glitter became famous for his flamboyant costumes and behaviour during the glam-rock period and was known for hits like “I’m the Leader of the Gang”, “Do You Wanna Touch Me”, “Hello! Hello! I’m Back Again”, and “I Love You Love Me Love”.

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