Daily Express

Prosecutor­s consider Sir Cliff sex charges

- By Paul Jeeves

A POLICE investigat­ion into child sex abuse claims against Sir Cliff Richard ended yesterday with a file of evidence handed to prosecutor­s.

The 75-year-old singer will now have to wait to discover if he will be charged over allegation­s dating back to the 1980s.

The Crown Prosecutio­n Service said it would “carefully consider” the file – compiled over two years by South Yorkshire Police – to see if there was a realistic prospect of conviction.


Sir Cliff has dismissed the allegation­s as “absurd and untrue” but has fully cooperated with detectives’ inquiries.

He has been voluntaril­y interviewe­d under caution but has never been arrested.

Last night his spokesman said it would be inappropri­ate to comment at this stage.

During the inquiry, the star’s £3million apartment near Sunningdal­e, Berks, was the target of a controvers­ial and high-profile raid while he was away on holiday in Portugal.

The investigat­ion centred on claims by one man, now in his 40s, that the singer sexually assaulted him as a teenager in 1985.

According to him, the incident is alleged to have taken place at a Billy Graham evangelica­l rally at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane stadium.

The man – who cannot be named for legal reasons – has criticised the police handling of the case. He has claimed that months went by without him hearing from the police.

Last night he refused to comment on the developmen­ts.

Since he made his allegation against Sir Cliff, it is understood that two other accusers have also come forward with claims.

At least one is understood to have since been dismissed by police.

South Yorkshire Police were widely criticised over the 2014 raid on Sir Cliff’s home for tipping off a BBC reporter in advance. The singer, who is worth £100million, had to watch the raid on a TV news bulletin at his Portuguese villa.

Last night a spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “Investigat­ion files relating to allegation­s of non-recent sexual abuse involving a 75-year-old man have been handed over to the CPS.

“The CPS will now consider the matter and South Yorkshire Police awaits their decision.”

A CPS spokesman said: “We have received a full file of evidence and will carefully consider its contents in line with the Code for Crown Prosecutor­s.”

Last year Sir Cliff’s lawyers attacked the Home Affairs Select Committee for publishing a letter from South Yorkshire’s then Chief Constable David Crompton revealing the “investigat­ion had increased in size since its inception’’ and Sir Cliff’s lawyers were “aware there was more than one allegation”.

The star’s legal team argued the disclosure caused him a “further round of unnecessar­y and extremely damaging media coverage”.

In a six-decade career the star sold more than 250 million records worldwide, with over 21 million singles sales in the UK alone and became one of the top-selling artists in history.

His 1958 hit Move It has been called Britain’s first authentic rock ’n’ roll song and John Lennon once said that before Cliff and The Shadows, there had been “nothing worth listening to” in UK music.

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Picture: SAV/FILMMAGIC Sir Cliff said claim is absurd and untrue

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