Cliff Richard wins BBC coverage case at High Court

Written by on July 18, 2018

Sir Cliff Richard has won his privacy case against the BBC over its coverage of a police raid on his home.

High Court judge Mr Justice Mann awarded an initial £210,000 in damages.

The singer claimed the BBC’s reporting of the 2014 raid, which was part of an investigation into historical child sex allegations, was a “serious invasion” of privacy.

Sir Cliff was never arrested or charged over the allegations, which dated back to 1985.

The judge said the BBC had infringed Sir Cliff’s privacy rights in a “serious” and “sensationalist” way.

He awarded Sir Cliff £190,000 damages and an extra £20,000 in aggravated damages after the BBC submitted its coverage of the raid for an award.

The BBC must pay 65% of the £190,000 and South Yorkshire Police, who carried out the raid, 35%.

The judge rejected the BBC’s case that its reporting was justified under rights of freedom of expression and of the press.

Sir Cliff said he was “choked up” at the judgement, adding: “It’s wonderful news.”

Fans at the High Court in London sang the singer’s hit Congratulations as the judgement was announced.

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

Officers were investigating an allegation made by a man who claimed he was sexually assaulted by Sir Cliff at an event at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane in 1985 when he was a child.

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

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