Shamed paedophile Gary Glitter has apparently hired inmates to protect him from attacks while he is serving his sentence for child sex abuse at High Down prison.

Pop star Glitter, 70, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was jailed for 16 years in February for historic sex assaults on schoolgirls.

It is understood that Glitter was transferred from Wandsworth to a sex offenders' wing at the Banstead prison at the beginning of March.

FROM LAST YEAR: Government "got it wrong" over cuts which led to "mackerel and dumplings" prison rebellion 

FROM FEBRUARY: "We need to have a frank debate about the cost of rising prison population", says chief prison inspector Nick Hardwick

According to the Sun newspaper, the Glam rock star has angered fellow inmates by allegedly getting "preferential treatment" from prison officers, not having to work, and skipping the queue to receive medication.

The newspaper said Glitter is bribing three inmates with tobacco bought from the prison canteen to ensure his safety.

A source told the Sun: "Glitter looks healthy and happy and is swanning around like he's in a holiday camp.

"He strolls around the yard with three guys constantly by his side, so that no one bothers him.

"They aren't the sort of guys you mess with.

"He gets a delivery of stuff he has ordered from the canteen every Friday and is paying them in tobacco.

"He was having a tough time in Wandsworth. He is having a much easier time now."

Your Local Guardian:

Last month, a report published by the prison’s independent monitoring board (IMB) for 2013 to 2014, concluded by "asking the Prisons Minister if he is fully aware of the wide-ranging impact of cuts in staffing levels and the consequent difficulty in delivering a regime that is genuinely fair and decent for the prisoners".

FROM MARCH: Savage staffing cuts have made "genuinely fair and decent" regime at High Down prison difficult to deliver, report finds

The report found that although prison officers had "responded well" to the challenges caused by Government reforms, they had much less time to interact with prisoners.

In the last fortnight, a number of worried relatives have again contacted this newspaper concerned about conditions inside the prison.

One said: "My other half once again has been locked up since 16.45 Tuesday evening and only been let out at 16.30 Wednesday eve to be told they had time only to collect their meal and go back to cells to be locked up again.

"Phone calls are almost not existent which is a lifeline not only for the men but for the families left behind.

"It is disgraceful when prisoners want to work but can’t because there are no staff.

"There is nothing for these men to work towards or to feel good about - is that another punishment?

"I am watching my other half change week on week and I’m not sure he is going to make it and still be sane at the end.

"The sad thing is no one really cares or really listens so we might as well all shut up and pick up the pieces as best we can when we have to."

FROM LAST YEAR: 'No crisis - prison safe', says High Down's Governor

Another said she was "in complete despair at the way forward" and was concerned about the lack of mental health provision inside High Down.

Last November, 11 of the prison's inmates were found not guilty of prison mutiny after they barricaded themselves into a cell, saying they would come out if they were given "mackerel and dumplings".

The prisoners said they were protesting against conditions inside the prison, which underwent significant change as a result of Justice Secretary Chris Grayling's reforms.

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