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Glitter did schoolgirl victims 'real and lasting damage'

Gary Glitter did his teenage victims "real and lasting damage", the judge has said while sentencing the disgraced singer to 16 years in jail for historical sex attacks.

Gary Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, seen attending court earlier this month. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Addressing the disgraced singer in a courtroom that included his still-loyal fans gathered in the public gallery, Judge Alistair McCreath described the impact of Glitter's abuse on three girls, then aged 10, 12 and 13.

I have read the victim impact statements of all three victims. It is clear , in their different ways, they were all profoundly effected by your abuse of them.

You did all of them real and lasting damage and you did so for no other reason than to obtain sexual gratification for yourself of a wholly improper kind.

The offences for which I must pass sentence today took place many years ago at a time when in particular, in respect of one of them, the maximum sentence was considerably lower than that which is now available.

– Judge Alistair McCreath

Glitter, dressed in a black velvet coat and burgundy scarf, showed no reaction as he was led from the dock at London's Southwark Crown Court after he was sentenced.

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PM defends MI5 over 'Jihadi John' criticism

David Cameron has defended the intelligence services amid accusations they allowed the Islamic State terrorist known as "Jihadi John" to leave for Syria.

David Cameron speaking in Wales today. Credit: PA Wire

While not commenting specifically on the identity of the masked militant, understood to be Londoner Mohammed Emwazi, Mr Cameron said his "number one priority" was to ensure that those responsible for crimes against British citizens were hunted down and "put out of action".

The Prime Minister praised the work of the "extraordinary" security services, who he said made "incredibly difficult judgments" on the country's behalf.

"I work very closely with our security services. I meet with them regularly, I ask them searching questions about what they do and in my almost five years experience as Prime Minister, I think they are incredibly impressive, hard-working, dedicated, courageous and effective at protecting our country.

"All of the time, they are having to make incredibly difficult judgments and I think basically they make very good judgments on our behalf, and I think whilst we are in the middle of this vast effort to make sure British citizens are safe, the most important thing is to get behind them.

"All I can say is, even in the last few months, their dedication and work has saved us from plots on the streets of the United Kingdom that could have done immense damage."

Price of first and second class stamps to increase by 1p

The price of first and second class stamps is to increase by 1p each to 63p and 54p from March 30, the Royal Mail announced today.

A general view of first and second-class stamps. Credit: PA Wire

Sending a large letter will increase by 2p to 95p for first class and by 1p to 74p for second class.

Second-class medium parcels weighing up to 2kg will be priced at £4.89, which Royal Mail said represents a saving of up to £3.11.

The postal group said it had thought "carefully" about the impact on its customers before deciding to raise letter prices, adding that it recognised how the recent tough economic conditions had made it difficult for consumers and businesses.

Stamp prices in the UK were among the best value in Europe, it added.

German parliament approves Greece bailout extension

The German parliament has approved a deal to extend Greece's financial bailout by four months.

A total of 542 MPs within the 631-seat chamber voted in favour of approving the extension.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party has overwhelmingly backed the extension of Greece's bailout despite dissension from within their ranks and in the German press. Credit: REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

The approval came after Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble - a sceptic of Athens - promised Greece would not be allowed to "blackmail" its European partners.

The vote in the Bundestag was the only major hurdle for the four-month exension for the most heavily indebted country in the euro zone.

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