Artist News Legal

Cliff Richard to face no charges over accusations of sexual assault

By | Published on Friday 17 June 2016

Cliff Richard

Cliff Richard will face no further action over allegations of historic child abuse, the Crown Prosecution Service announced yesterday, saying that there was “insufficient evidence to prosecute”.

As previously reported, Richard’s Berkshire home was searched by police in 2014, in relation to allegations that he sexually assaulted a boy under the age of sixteen at a Christian faith rally in 1985. The singer, who no longer lives in the UK, was in Portugal at the time of the search, and said that the accusations were “completely false”. He flew back to the UK days later to be questioned by police. He was never arrested and no charges were made.

Police dropped one investigation into the abuse claims last September, but re-interviewed Richard in November.

Referencing the fact that BBC cameras were controversially on site to film the arrival of police at his Berkshire home two years ago, the singer said in a statement yesterday: “Ever since the highly-publicised and BBC filmed raid on my home I have chosen not to speak publicly. Even though I was under pressure to ‘speak out’, other than to state my innocence, which was easy for me to do as I have never molested anyone in my life, I chose to remain silent. This was despite the widely shared sense of injustice resulting from the high profile fumbling of my case from day one”.

He continued: “Other than in exceptional cases, people who are facing allegations should never be named publicly until charged. I was named before I was even interviewed and for me that was like being hung out like ‘live bait’. It is obvious that such strategies simply increase the risk of attracting spurious claims which not only tie up police resources and waste public funds, but they forever tarnish the reputations of innocent people. There have been numerous occasions in recent years where this has occurred, and I feel very strongly that no innocent person should be treated in this way”.

“I know the truth and in some peoples’ eyes the CPS’s announcement today doesn’t go far enough because it doesn’t expressly state that I am innocent; which of course I am”, he added. “There lies the problem. My reputation will not be fully vindicated because the CPS’s policy is to only say something general about there being ‘insufficient’ evidence. How can there be evidence for something that never took place! This is also a reason why people should never be named publicly until they have been charged unless there are exceptional circumstances”.