DISGRACED pop star Gary Glitter has been freed from prison after serving half of his 16-year sentence for sex crimes.

The paedophile glam rock singer – who had a string of chart hits in the 1970s – was jailed in 2015 for sexually abusing three schoolgirls.

The PA news agency reported that the 79-year-old left HMP The Verne – a low security category C jail in Portland, Dorset – on Friday after eight years behind bars.

He was freed automatically half-way through a fixed-term determinate sentence. The sex offender will now be subject to licence conditions.

Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was at the height of his fame when he preyed on his vulnerable victims who thought no-one would believe their claims over that of a celebrity.

The National: Gary Glitter on stage at the Cardiff International Arena. Picture: Barry Batchelor/PA Archive

He attacked two girls, aged 12 and 13, after inviting them backstage to his dressing room, and isolating them from their mothers. His third victim was less than 10 years old when he crept into her bed and tried to rape her in 1975.

The allegations only came to light nearly 40 years later when Glitter became the first person to be arrested under Operation Yewtree – the investigation launched by the Metropolitan Police in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Sentencing the singer, Judge Alistair McCreath said all the victims were “profoundly affected” by the abuse. He said it was “difficult to overstate the gravity of this dreadful behaviour” when referring to the assault on one victim, telling Glitter he was able to attack another “only” because of his fame.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak video did NOT feature Gary Glitter song, No 10 insists

The court heard there was no evidence Glitter had atoned for his actions after he was found guilty of one count of attempted rape, one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 13, and four counts of indecent assault.

He later lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his conviction.

Glitter’s fall from grace occurred years earlier after he admitted possessing 4000 child pornography images and was jailed for four months in 1999.

In 2002, he was expelled from Cambodia amid reports of sex crime allegations, and in March 2006 he was convicted of sexually abusing two girls, aged 10 and 11, in Vietnam and spent two-and-a-half years in jail.

The rise and fall of Gary Glitter: a timeline

– May 8 1944

Gary Glitter was born Paul Gadd in Banbury, Oxfordshire. Never knowing his father, he is brought up by his grandmother and young mother. Aged 10, he and his brother are taken into care.

– July 1963

Glitter marries Ann Murton. They go on to have a son together the following year. In 1966 they have a daughter.

– 1972

Glitter’s breakthrough single Rock And Roll (Parts 1 And 2) reaches number two in the UK and tops the US charts. This is also the year that he and his wife divorce.

– 1973

In what was an incredibly successful year for Glitter, he scores a string of chart hits, including I Didn’t Know I Loved You (Till I Saw You Rock And Roll), I Love You Love and Do You Wanna Touch Me.

In the summer he claims his first UK number one single with I’m The Leader Of The Gang (I Am).

– 1975

By now Glitter has sold 18 million records, but towards the end of the decade he is declared bankrupt.

– 1984

Glitter makes a comeback with hit single Dance Me Up. After some time away in Australia and France, he has turned to Buddhism and become a vegetarian.

The song Another Rock And Roll Christmas is also released this year, reaching number 7 in the UK singles chart, and is considered Glitter’s most successful song since 1975. It was also his final UK top 40 hit.

– November 1997

A computer engineer discovers thousands of child porn images on Glitter’s laptop while servicing it.

– November 1999

Glitter is jailed for four months after pleading guilty to 54 offences of making indecent photographs of children under 16.

– January 2000

After serving two months in prison, the singer is freed and travels to Spain and then Cuba.

– February 2001

Glitter has a son with Yudenia Sosa Martinez on the Caribbean island.

– 2002

He is kicked out of Cambodia after facing allegations of sex crimes and moves to Thailand, before going on to the Vietnamese coastal resort of Vung Tau.

– March 2006

The shamed singer is convicted of sexually abusing two Vietnamese girls, aged 10 and 11, and sentenced to three years in prison.

– August 2008

Glitter is ordered to return to the UK after spending two-and-a-half years in jail.

– October 2012

Glitter becomes the first person to be arrested under the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Yewtree – the investigation launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

– June 2014

The singer is charged with eight counts of sexual offences, which later becomes 10 counts.

– January 2015

Glitter goes on trial at Southwark Crown Court.

– February 2015

He is found guilty of one count of attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13. Glitter is jailed for 16 years.

– November 2015

He loses a Court of Appeal challenge against his conviction.

– February 3 2023

The now 70-year-old is released from HMP The Verne in Portland, Dorset, after eight years behind bars.