Cliff Richard in wait for court case verdict over South Yorkshire Police raid

Sir Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff Richard

Sir Cliff Richard could face a delay of weeks until he discovers if he has won a court case over the BBC's coverage of a raid on his home carried out by South Yorkshire Police.

The veteran singer is suing the BBC for a breach of privacy over the way a police raid on his home was aired live on television and he was named as a suspect in an investigation into an historic child sex assault allegation.

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Sir Cliff, aged 77, is seeking damages at the 'top end ' of the scale.

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He always denied the allegation that he assaulted a teenage boy at a Christian concert in Sheffield in the mid 1980s and was never charged.

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South Yorkshire Police tipped off a BBC reporter about the raid to avoid details of the investigation into the allegation being publicised before officers had searched the popular singer's home.

BBC cameras on the ground filmed officers entering Sir Cliff's apartment in Berkshire and footage was also obtained from a helicopter hovering above.

A judge yesterday finished overseeing the High Court trial in London, which has lasted more than three weeks.

Mr Justice Mann said he would deliver a verdict on a date to be fixed.

Lawyers representing Sir Cliff told the judge that he was not asking for 'special treatment' and that he wanted to be treated like 'anybody else'.

They claim the BBC coverage was a 'very serious invasion' of Sir Cliff' privacy.

The BBC disputes his claims.

Bosses say coverage of the search of the apartment in Sunningdale, Berkshire, was accurate and in carried out in good faith.

Mr Justice Mann has heard how in late 2013 a man made an allegation to the Metropolitan Police, saying he had been sexually assaulted by Sir Cliff at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane stadium as a child in 1985.

Metropolitan Police officers passed the allegation to South Yorkshire Police in July 2014.

Sir Cliff denied the allegation and in June 2016 prosecutors announced he would face no charges.

A BBC spokesman has said the BBC reported Sir Cliff's 'full denial of the allegations at every stage'.

South Yorkshire Police has paid Sir Cliff £400,000 in an out of court settlement.

Barrister Jason Beer QC, who led South Yorkshire Police's legal team, told the judge: "South Yorkshire Police accepts its conduct was unlawful and was the cause of damage to (Sir Cliff).

"But it was the conduct of the BBC that caused most of the damage, and it was the BBC that was most blameworthy."