Entertainment Music

Tuesday 23 July 2019

Cliff Richard wins privacy case against BBC after televised home raid infringed his rights in a ‘serious and sensationalist way’


Cliff Richard arrives at the Rolls Building in London (Victoria Jones/PA)
Cliff Richard arrives at the Rolls Building in London (Victoria Jones/PA)

By Sian Harrison and Brian Farmer, Press Association

Sir Cliff Richard been awarded more than £200,000 in damages after winning his High Court privacy battle against the BBC over its coverage of a police search of his home.

The 77-year-old singer took legal action against BBC bosses over broadcasts of a South Yorkshire Police raid on his home in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in August 2014, following a child sex assault allegation.

Announcing his ruling, Mr Justice Mann said the BBC had infringed the star’s privacy rights in a “serious and sensationalist way”.

A police car passes the Charters Estate in Sunningdale where Sir Cliff Richard has an apartment (Andrew Matthews/PA)

He awarded Sir Cliff £210,000 damages for the “general effect” on his life and said he is entitled to recover further sums for the financial impact on the star, which will be decided at a later date.

The judge oversaw a trial at the High Court in London during April and May.

During the hearing Sir Cliff told the judge that coverage, which involved the use of a helicopter, was a “very serious invasion” of his privacy.

The BBC disputed his claims and senior editors said the coverage was accurate and in good faith.

Mr Justice Mann heard that, in late 2013, a man made an allegation to the Metropolitan Police, saying he had been sexually assaulted by Sir Cliff during an event featuring evangelist Billy Graham at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane football stadium, in 1985, when he was a child.

Metropolitan Police officers passed the allegation to South Yorkshire Police in July 2014.

Sir Cliff denied the allegation and was never arrested, and in June 2016 prosecutors announced that he would face no charges.

South Yorkshire Police had agreed to pay Sir Cliff £400,000 after settling a claim he brought against the force.

PA Media

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