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Sunday 21 September 2014

Frail comedian Starr 'relieved' as sex abuse ordeal ends without charges

Padraic Flanagan

Published 07/05/2014 | 02:30

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Freddie Starr outside his home in Warwickshire after the CPS confirmed that he will not be charged as part of Operation Yewtree due to insufficient evidence. PA
Freddie Starr outside his home in Warwickshire after the CPS confirmed that he will not be charged as part of Operation Yewtree due to insufficient evidence. PA

COMEDIAN Freddie Starr has spoken of his relief after learning he will not be prosecuted over sex crime allegations despite spending 18 months on bail.

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Looking frail and unwell, the 71-year-old entertainer thanked his fans for their support before his lawyer criticised police over delays in the investigation that had taken a visible toll on Starr's health.

The celebrity from Studley, Warwickshire, was first arrested in November 2012 by detectives from the sex crime inquiry Operation Yewtree, and was rebailed several times.

He has always denied any wrongdoing.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed he will not be charged in relation to 13 alleged victims because of insufficient evidence, and that action will not be taken over another victim because it is not in the public interest.

Responding to the news at the home he shares with 36-year-old wife Sophie, Starr said he was "very relieved", adding: "I'm not feeling well, really."

Baljit Ubhey, from the CPS, said Starr's case had been "carefully reviewed".

"Each allegation was considered on its own merits and we have concluded that the available evidence does not offer a realistic prospect of conviction for any of the alleged offences," said Ms Ubhey.

"It must be remembered that a determination by a prosecutor that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute under the Code does not mean that the suspect is guilty of the offence."

Starr's lawyer Dean Dunham criticised the police over the delays that had caused considerable strain to his client, saying: "At the moment we need to concentrate on getting Freddie back to his health." (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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