In Brief

Max Clifford guilty of eight charges of indecent assault

Publicist Max Clifford convicted of a string of sexual assaults on young women and teenagers

MAX CLIFFORD, the celebrity publicist, has been found guilty of eight charges of indecent assault relating to four women and girls as young as 15 by a jury at Southwark Crown Court.

He was cleared of two charges of indecent assault and the jury failed to reach a verdict on another charge, the BBC reports. Members of the jury spent nearly 35 hours in deliberations before reaching their verdict.

Clifford, who is 71, has been bailed and will return to court for sentencing at 10am on Friday. The judge Anthony Leonard told him: "You know the probable outcome of your actions."

In the Daily Telegraph, Peter Watt of the NSPCC describes Clifford as "a ruthless and manipulative sex offender who preyed for decades on children and young women".

Clifford made his fortune by representing celebrities from OJ Simpson to Jade Goody. In the wake of the Jimmy Savile sex scandal a number of women came forward with stories of being assaulted by Clifford that were dealt with by police under Operation Yewtree.

Clifford described the accusations against him as "utterly revolting, utterly untrue, disgusting lies". He pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of indecent assault against women and girls aged 14 to 19 which were alleged to have taken place between 1966 and 1984.

During the trial, the prosecution said that Clifford had "used his contact with famous people to bully and manipulate these young people into sexual acts with him".

Watt says: "Many of his victims innocently came to him hoping he could make their dreams come true, dazzled by his celebrity connections. But he saw women and young girls as sexual objects for his own gratification. Instead of helping their bids for stardom he indecently assaulted them before casting them aside".

The BBC’s home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw describes the convictions – the first to result from Operation Yewtree – as "hugely significant".

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