Gary Glitter broke down in tears as he tried to explain to jurors why he had been in possession of pornographic images of children.
Sobbing uncontrollably in the witness box, the 70-year-old said he had been in a bad place in his life, and was struggling financially, with alcohol and with drugs.
He issued a tearful apology to his fans saying: “I lost my own dignity, and I am so sorry. I am very sorry.
“I am sorry today and every day of my life ever since. I am sorry to my fans.”
In November 1997, when Glitter went to pick up a Toshiba laptop he had given for servicing at a Bristol PC World, he was arrested, Southwark Crown Court in London heard. The engineer who examined the machine had discovered images related to child pornography.
Glitter subsequently admitted responsibility for a “large number” of images — depicting a full range of sexual activity taking place between men and very young children — being on his computer.
Glitter, whose real name Paul Gadd, is accused of one count of attempted rape and another of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 13 in 1975. He is also accused of two counts of indecent assault with regard to another fan he is said to have assaulted after inviting her to his dressing room after a concert between October 1979 and December 1980.
In connection with a third complainant, who was under 16, he is charged with two counts of indecent assault between October 1979 and December 1980.
The singer, of Marylebone in central London, denies all the charges against him.
In cross-examination, prosecutor John Price asked: “Why were you looking at pictures of men having sex with young children?’’
Immediately breaking into sobs Glitter replied: “I was in a very bad place in my life at that time and I had a lot of very serious decisions to make about my future.”
After taking a couple of minutes to compose himself, he told the court he had accepted responsibility for the images and had been to jail.
“I was drinking heavily, I was doing drugs, and the other thing of course is that I had to find this money to pay for the legal costs and studio, and I was asked by my management to seriously do the one thing which was absolutely terrible — which was to sell my songs. To sell my songs to Universal Pictures, and I regret it.
“I was just in a bad place. I went to prison, I came out. I was remorseful and I am remorseful. I am so sorry. It changed my life forever. I lost my honour, I lost my family.” He added he was in the most “awful, awful place”. He sobbed: “God knows I have paid for it.”
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