MAX CLIFFORD has been sentenced to eight years in prison, following his conviction on Monday of eight charges of sexual assault
He was convicted of sexually abusing four young girls, for which his sentences will be served consecutively.
The celebrity publicist, a regular in Southern Spain, faced 11 counts of indecent assault between 1966 and 1984 in the UK, including two separate incidents on the Costa del Sol.
Clifford shook his head repeatedly throughout the hearing and smiled faintly at family as he was led out of the dock.
Judge Anthony Leonard told Clifford: “Your offending is not trivial but of a very serious nature.
“I judge you were largely responsible for the delay in victims coming forward and ought not to benefit from it.”
He emphasised that Clifford’s victims did not come forward because of his ‘dominant’ character and his position in the world of entertainment.
He mentioned how Clifford had told one girl: “no one will believe you.”
The judge made it clear that if some of the offences had occurred since 2003, Clifford would be looking at jail terms in excess of ten years and some of the charges could even carry the maximum life sentence.
The judge highlighted an incident where Clifford’s interrupted a Sky News reporter while on camera by standing behind him and mimicking his actions.
“I find your behaviour quite extraordinary and a further indication that you show no remorse,” said the judge.
The 71-year-old was accused of manipulating seven girls and women into performing sex acts over many years.
He sexually abused a teenager he met in Torremolinos while she was on holiday with her parents in 1977.
Another woman claimed to have been molested by Clifford in a jacuzzi in Calahonda when she was a 12-year-old girl.
Now 43, she described a ‘tickling game’ that Clifford played with her before the alleged assault.
The judge described Clifford’s behaviour as ‘quite extraordinary’, and accused him of having a ‘contemptuous attitude’ towards his female victims.
Clifford is the first person to be convicted under Operation Yewtree, after being arrested in December 2012 as part of the inquiry and charged last April.
Clifford did a lot of PR work in the Marbella area, including club La Costa and the Polo House restaurant.
He also offered his services to Marbella Town Hall, however it was decided the €10,000 a month he demanded was too high.
The ‘Max Clifford Celebrity Golf Challenge and Butterfly Ball’ is a key event in the Marbella social calendar, hosted annually by Clifford in aid of the Rhys Daniels Trust, of which Clifford in the patron.
The star-studded event takes place at the La Cala Golf Resort in Mijas, near Marbella, and last year’s event raised more than €42,000 for the charity.
There was an interesting discussion on Sky this morning, with Mellor – on of Clifford’s targets on the panel. The discussed the role of people who tell and sell deliberate lies to the Tabloids (Freddie Starr, Mellor – Chelsea shirt etc). I wonder now if papers and TV will suddenly start asking more penetrating questions of “spin doctors’, as there are several others operating to put demonstrably false stories into the public domain, and even one who boasts that his job was “To control what came out in the media”. What do you do, for example, OP, if you find that you have been sold a lie, or deliberately misled.
Clifford was on trial for being a sex pest and more. He wasn’t on trial for being a spin doctor. Although it’s true that schadenfreude will play a big part in his deserved downfall.