Clifford loses fight against 8-year term

Disgraced PR guru Max Clifford has lost a challenge against his eight-year jail sentence for sex offences.

The sentence was upheld by three Court of Appeal judges in London. The 71-year-old was jailed in May for indecent assaults, carried out between 1977 and 1984, using his celebrity connections to lure women.

The former celebrity agent, who branded his accusers “fantasists”, denied the charges.

Lord Justice Treacy, who heard the case with Mr Justice Turner and Judge Michael Pert, said the sentence was “justified”.

Clifford’s barrister Richard Horwell QC said that Clifford’s last offence was committed 29 years ago and “since then he has led an industrious life, and devoted a considerable part of his time to charitable works for which he has raised substantial funds”. The trial judge had “accepted that he is no longer a danger to women and that he will not commit further offences”.

Horwell said the sentence imposed was “too long”, and “the sentencing process must not abandon common sense”.

Rosina Cottage QC, for the Crown, said the total sentence was one the trial judge was “entitled to reach”.

When sentencing him, Judge Anthony Leonard told him his personality and position in the public eye were the reasons his crimes were not revealed earlier.

He said: “Your own dominant character and your position in the world of entertainment... meant your victims thought that you were untouchable, something that I think you too believed.

“These offences may have taken place a long time ago, when inappropriate and trivial sexual behaviour was more likely to be tolerated, but your offending was not trivial, but of a very serious nature.”


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