Tuesday 6 December 2016

Cliff Richard could face sex abuse charges

Dean Gray in London

Published 11/05/2016 | 02:30

Cliff Richard
Cliff Richard

Prosecutors are considering whether to bring charges against veteran entertainer Cliff Richard over alleged historical sex abuse.

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The Crown Prosecution Service said it would now make a decision as to whether to bring charges or not.

Richard was interviewed under caution in 2014 by detectives investigating a claim of a sex crime involving a young boy in the 1980s, but was not arrested or charged. He was questioned again last year.

His spokesman has always said the allegations were "completely false".

A CPS spokesman said: "We have received a full file of evidence from South Yorkshire Police.

"We will now carefully consider its contents in line with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, in order to establish whether there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and whether it is in the public interest to do so."

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "Investigation files relating to allegations of non-recent sexual abuse involving a 75-year-old man have been handed over to the CPS.

"The CPS will now consider the matter and South Yorkshire Police awaits their decision."

Raid

Controversy erupted when the raid on his home in Berkshire in August 2014 was broadcast on live TV after an agreement was forged between the BBC and South Yorkshire Police.

A report commissioned by the county's former police and crime commissioner later found that the move "certainly interfered with his privacy and may well have caused unnecessary distress".

Last year the star's representatives attacked the Home Affairs Select Committee for publishing a letter from Chief Constable David Crompton that revealed the police investigation had increased "significantly" in size and involved more than one allegation.

Richard's lawyers claimed the disclosure caused him a "further round of unnecessary and extremely damaging media coverage".

Irish Independent

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