UK

Max Clifford Launches Appeal Against Eight-Year Sentence

17/09/2014 18:03 BST | Updated 17/09/2014 18:59 BST
Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
PR guru Max Clifford arrives at Southwark Crown Court, London where he is accused of a string of indecent assaults.

Disgraced PR guru Max Clifford has launched an appeal against his eight-year prison sentence for a string of indecent assaults on four women. The 71-year-old fell from grace after decades influencing the media when he was convicted of eight counts of the crime, carried out between 1977 and 1984, in May.

A spokesman for the Judicial Office said Clifford was appealing against the length of his imprisonment which would be heard at the Court of Appeal in London on October 9. Passing sentence at Southwark Crown Court in May, 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. 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."

The judge said that due to the historic nature of the offences, Clifford was charged under an act from 1956, which set the maximum term for each charge at two years. Under later legislation passed in 2003, the maximum term would have been 10 years, and for the worst instances would have been charged as rape or assault by penetration, which attract a maximum life term.

The former celebrity agent, who branded his accusers "fantasists", remained defiant ahead of his sentencing, and said: "I stand by everything I have said in the last 17 months." In August, he was allowed out of prison to attend his brother Bernard's funeral at North East Surrey Crematorium in south west London.