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Sexual predator claims are a work of fiction, says Clifford's barrister

CLAIMS public ­relations guru Max Clifford is a sexual predator are the stuff of fiction, his barrister has said.

Richard Horwell, QC, said any suggestion the publicist abused young women in the 1970s and 1980s would have spread "at the speed of electricity", as he delivered his closing speech at London's Southwark Crown Court.

Clifford, 71, is standing trial accused of 11 counts of indecent assault against seven girls and women - all of which he denies.

Mr Horwell said: "Men do not suddenly change from being caring gentlemen to sexual predatory monsters and then back again."

Mr Horwell told the jury Clifford had no previous convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings.

"How does that fit with the sexual predator the ­prosecution say he is?" he said.

"Would not this sexual predator have been caught out once or twice in his life?

"If a man has a perverted sexual drive, if he is a paedophile, because that is what is alleged, that tendency is going to be with him throughout his life."

Mr Horwell said character witnesses for Clifford had spoken of an honest man with integrity and who gave his time and energy to charity work.

"Not manufactured publicity in Hello! magazine but true care and understanding," he said.

"He was employed in the music industry in the early 1960s. If he found young girls attractive, if he was looking for young woman, isn't Top Of The Pops the place he would have been?"

Mr Horwell told the jury: "There is an enormous amount of pressure on the prosecution in this case. There is none on you.

"A careful assessment of the evidence can only result in one conclusion and that is Mr Clifford is not guilty on each of these counts."

Clifford, from Hersham in Surrey, listened from the dock with the aid of a hearing loop.

His daughter Louise, who has given evidence in the trial, sat in the public gallery.

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

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