The publicist Max Clifford was found guilty on Monday, 28th April, of eight charges of indecent assault against women and girls as young as 15 by a jury at Southwark crown court in London. The convictions follow a six-week trial and are for offences committed between 1977 and 1985.
The guilty verdicts make Clifford the first suspect to be prosecuted successfully under Scotland Yard’s wide-ranging Operation Yewtree investigation, which was sparked by the Jimmy Savile scandal in late 2012 and has led to a spate of arrests but – until Clifford – no convictions.
Before the verdicts, Rosina Cottage QC, prosecuting, summed up the six-weeks of evidence by describing Clifford as a risk-taker with an “arrogant confidence”, urging jurors to reject the defence’s claim that he was a “loving father” who had no interest in young girls. She said, “He has managed to portray himself in different ways to different people, but don’t be fooled. In every case his actions were sudden, unexpected and, frankly, in some cases so bizarre you may think these young women and girls had no idea how to react.”
Jenny Hopkins, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London, said of the convictions: “Today’s verdicts provide a long-denied justice to the victims of serious sexual offences. I would like to thank these victims for having had the courage to come forward and give evidence. The victims of sexual abuse, whenever it may have taken place, should know that police and prosecutors will listen.”