Disgraced former glam rock singer Gary Glitter has been freed from prison after serving half of his sentence.

The 78-year-old, real name Paul Gadd, was sent to prison for 16 years in 2015 for sexually abusing three girls aged 13, 12 and 10.

According to the PA media agency, he was released from HMP The Verne in Dorset, England on Friday after serving eight years. He was freed automatically halfway through his sentence and will be subject to licence conditions.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman told the agency: "Sex offenders like Paul Gadd are closely monitored by the police and Probation Service and face some of the strictest licence conditions including being fitted with a GPS tag. If the offender breaches these conditions at any point, they can go back behind bars."

Gadd was arrested in 2012 as part of Operation Yewtree, a police investigation into historic sex offences, and he was subsequently 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.

Gadd had a successful career in the '70s and '80s with hits such as I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am) and I Love You Love Me Love. However, his career effectively ended in 1999 after he pleaded guilty to possessing 4,000 items of child pornography and was sentenced to four months in prison.

In 2006, he was convicted of sexually abusing two underage girls in Vietnam and spent two-and-a-half years in jail before being deported.