British publicist Max Clifford. Photo: Neil Hall


London - Clifford’s arrogance and “contemptuous” behaviour during the trial against him was punished by a longer sentence.

The judge referred to a bizarre piece of television footage in which Clifford wandered outside court, mid-way through the case, and stood behind Sky News reporter Tom Parmenter who was busy recording a piece to camera.

Clifford mimicked the reporter’s hand gestures, in a clip that has attracted a huge audience on the internet.

Parmenter turned around and said: “All right Max? We’ll carry on, shall we?” Clifford replied: “Yeah, you carry on”, but did not move away.

On Friday the judge told him: “I have discovered that you appeared behind a reporter outside this court whilst he was making his report of your evidence and during which you mimicked his actions in a way that was designed to trivialise these events.

“I find your behaviour to be quite extraordinary and a further indication that you show no remorse.”

Judge Anthony Leonard QC said the “additional trauma” to victims caused by Clifford’s “contemptuous” attitude was something he had taken into account when deciding his sentence.

Describing the ordeal of a victim who was abused from the age of 15, the judge added: “She has been extremely upset by your public denials before trial and the reports of your attitude during trial – laughing and shaking your head in the dock at the accusations made against you.”

Clifford also tried to make jokes while giving evidence – mostly greeted with stony looks from the jury.

Asked about claims he boasted there was a photo of singer Diana Ross in his office because he had “screwed” her, he responded: “There’s a picture of Frank Sinatra – are you suggesting I had sex with him as well?”

Clifford’s brand of humour extended beyond the courtroom. After a gruelling morning in the witness box being grilled about molesting a succession of “naïve” teenage girls, he popped his head into a room full of reporters and said to two women sitting in a corner: “Are any of you girls free tonight?” When nobody said anything, he left.

His ribald gag about a woman’s pair of tights prompted laughter from the jury box and public gallery, leading the prosecutor to accuse him of “playing to the gallery”. - Daily Mail