Officer felt ‘forced’ to reveal police raid
A former detective has told the High Court he felt “forced” to reveal the police raid on Sir Cliff Richard’s home to a BBC journalist.
R e t i r e d d e t e c t i v e superintendent Matthew Fenwick said he believed reporter Dan Johnson would run a story about South Yorkshire Police’s investigation into the singer unless he was told about the search.
Discussing a meeting in July 2014 with Mr Johnson and the force’s head of corporate communications, Carrie Goodwin, Mr Fenwick said: “I believed the BBC was in a position to publish a story and I didn’t want them to publish a story at that stage.
“(Mr Johnson) said he could and he would, and we came to an arrangement that he would not publish it then but that we would let him know when we were going to take further action.
“I felt that we didn’t have many options. There was no option, other than to co-operate with him.”
Sir Cliff is suing the BBC for “substantial damages” over its coverage of the raid at his penthouse apartment in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in August 2014 following an allegation of sexual assault.
The 77-year-old singer claims the report was a “very serious invasion” of his privacy and it has had a “prolonged impact” on him.
BBC bosses dispute his claims.
A BBC spokesman has said the BBC reported Sir Cliff ’s “full denial of the allegations at every stage”.
The singer thanked a group of fans gathered outside the court as he left after the third day of the hearing yesterday and appeared to pose for photographs.
Sir Cliff Richard