Of­fi­cer felt ‘forced’ to re­veal po­lice raid

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY SIAN HAR­RI­SON

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

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