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  1. ITV Report

Max Clifford remorseless as he begins eight-year prison sentence

Max Clifford's mugshot upon first being taken into police custody. Photo: Metropolitan Police

After years making headlines for his celebrity clients, Max Clifford was front page news today as he was jailed for eight years over a string of indecent assaults on young women.

Yet the publicist appeared remorseless on his final day of freedom - leaving his multi-million pound mansion with no apology for the victims of his crimes - the youngest of whom was 15 at the time of the attack.

Asked how he was coping before he left for court, he said: "It's not the best day of my life, is it?"

However, the 71-year-old's fall from grace was cemented today. After decades influencing the media, he was convicted of eight counts of the crime, carried out between 1977 and 1984.

During sentencing, the judge commented upon Mr Clifford's "contemptuous attitude" to the court proceedings, citing as an example his bizarre behaviour in mimicking a Sky News reporter earlier in the trial.

"I find your behaviour to be quite extraordinary and a further indication that you show no remorse.

"Whilst there is a difference in degree between your reaction to what then were allegations of indecent assault and those of a defendant who makes public denials and then pleads guilty, this additional element of trauma caused by your contemptuous attitude is something that I shall take into account in sentence.

"I can only hope that these proceedings will provide all your victims with some sort of closure.

– Judge Anthony Leonard QC to Max Clifford

This was not to detract from the seriousness of the crimes Mr Clifford committed, however. The judge made clear that the convictions were of a "very serious nature and any perception to the contrary on your part is misconceived".

He added that, as Mr Clifford was being charged under laws at the time of the abuse in the 1970s and 1980s, he faced a maximum sentence of two years for each.

"You were charged with indecent assault under an Act passed in 1956. The maximum sentence for these offences was set at two years imprisonment. By the time that the Sexual Offences Act 2003 came into force, the maximum sentence for sexual assault was increased to 10 years.

"What is more, some of the sexual acts of which you have now been found guilty would now be charged as rape or assault by penetration for each of which Parliament has laid down a maximum term of life imprisonment.

– Judge Anthony Leonard QC to Max Clifford

Several of Mr Clifford's victims - in court to hear his fate - congratulated one another as the lengthy sentence was handed down.

He had called them "liars" and "fantasists" as they made their claims to the jury.

The judge argued that the crimes had gone unreported so long as "your victims thought you were untouchable, something I judge that you, too, believed and traded upon".

Photographers chase Max Clifford's van as it is taken to Wandsworth Prison. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Mr Clifford's wife and daughter - who had been present throughout his trial - were absent for the publicist's final visit to court.

And as he was taken to begin his sentence at Wandsworth Prison, many will have noted the irony of the paparazzi busily trailing his prison van.