Appeal court reserves judgment on Max Clifford’s appeal against sentence

Judges say they require more time to discuss issues raised by publicist’s appeal against eight-year sentence for sex offences
  • The Guardian, Thursday 9 October 2014 14.14 BST
British publicist Max Clifford
Max Clifford watched the appeal hearing via videolink from Littlehey men’s prison in Cambridgeshire. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters
The appeal court has reserved judgment on an appeal by the publicist Max Clifford against the length of his eight-year jail sentence for sex offences.
Three judges in London said they would give their decision in his case at a later date after they heard arguments against his “too long” prison term.
Clifford, 71, watched Thursday’s proceedings via videolink from Littlehey men’s prison in Cambridgeshire, a category C facility.
Clifford was jailed in May after being convicted of a string of indecent assaults carried out between 1977 and 1984, using his celebrity connections to lure women.
The former celebrity agent, who branded his accusers “fantasists”, denied the charges, but was convicted at London’s Southwark crown court.

Richard Horwell, counsel for Max Clifford, addresses the bench during the televised hearing at the court of appeal.
Richard Horwell, counsel for Max Clifford, addresses the bench during the televised hearing at the court of appeal. Photograph: PA/PA

The judge, Anthony Leonard, told Clifford his personality and position in the public eye were the reasons his crimes were not revealed earlier. He said: “The reason why they were not brought to light sooner was because of your own dominant character and your position in the world of entertainment which meant that your victims thought that you were untouchable, something that I think you too believed.”
Leonard added: “These offences may have taken place a long time ago, when inappropriate and trivial sexual behaviour was more likely to be tolerated, but your offending was not trivial, but of a very serious nature.”
After hearing argument from Clifford’s counsel and from the prosecution over his sentence, Lord Justice Treacy, sitting with Mr Justice Turner and judge Michael Pert, said: “We have decided to reserve our decision in this matter. We shall not give a judgment today.
“There are a significant number of issues to be considered and we consider that we require further time to discuss and decide those issues.”
The date for the ruling was not given.

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