Sir Cliff Richard to face no further action after police 'sex abuse' probe


Sir Cliff Richard is to face no further action following the controversial South Yorkshire Police investigation into allegations of historical sexual abuse.

The Crown Prosecution Service said there is "insufficient evidence to prosecute" the 75-year-old singer.

Martin Goldman, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: "The CPS has carefully reviewed evidence relating to claims of non-recent sexual offences dating between 1958 and 1983 made by four men.

Cliff Richard

"We have decided that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute.

"This decision has been made in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and our guidance for prosecutors on cases of sexual offences.

"The CPS worked with police during the investigation. This has helped minimise the time needed to reach a decision once we received the complete file of evidence on May 10.

"The complainants have been informed and provided with a full explanation in writing."

In a statement, Sir Cliff said: "After almost two years under police investigation, I learnt today that they have finally closed their inquiries.


"I have always maintained my innocence, co-operated fully with the investigation, and cannot understand why it has taken so long to get to this point.

"Nevertheless, I am obviously thrilled that the vile accusations and the resulting investigation have finally been brought to a close.

"Ever since the highly-publicised and BBC-filmed raid on my home I have chosen not to speak publicly. Even though I was under pressure to 'speak out', other than to state my innocence, which was easy for me to do as I have never molested anyone in my life, I chose to remain silent.

"This was despite the widely-shared sense of injustice resulting from the high-profile fumbling of my case from day one. Other than in exceptional cases, people who are facing allegations should never be named publicly until charged.

"I was named before I was even interviewed and for me that was like being hung out like live bait.

"It is obvious that such strategies simply increase the risk of attracting spurious claims which not only tie up police resources and waste public funds, but they forever tarnish the reputations of innocent people.


"There have been numerous occasions in recent years where this has occurred, and I feel very strongly that no innocent person should be treated in this way.

"I know the truth and in some people's eyes the CPS announcement today doesn't go far enough because it doesn't expressly state that I am innocent; which of course I am. There lies the problem.

"My reputation will not be fully vindicated because the CPS' policy is to only say something general about there being 'insufficient' evidence.

"How can there be evidence for something that never took place? This is also a reason why people should never be named publicly until they have been charged unless there are exceptional circumstances.

"To my fans and members of the public, to the press and media, all of whom continued to show me such encouraging and wonderful support, I would like to say 'thank-you', it would have been so much harder without you."

Cliff Richard in 1963

In a statement, South Yorkshire Police said: "After careful consideration of the evidence provided to them, the CPS has concluded that no further action should be taken against the man due to there being insufficient evidence to prosecute.

"A further five allegations considered by the investigation team did not meet the threshold for referral to CPS for a charging decision.

"South Yorkshire Police accept the decision of the CPS in this case and all those involved have been informed.

"The force apologises wholeheartedly for the additional anxiety caused by our initial handling of the media interest in this case and has implemented the learning from this and the subsequent review conducted by former Chief Constable Andy Trotter.

Cliff Richard arrived at Wimbledon in a turquoise suit

"Following an initial allegation received by the force in April 2014, South Yorkshire detectives have explored and gathered all information available and carried out a thorough and detailed investigation, which has covered the UK and abroad. The investigation, which has spanned two years, is estimated to have cost in the region of £800,000, including staffing costs.

"Non-recent allegations are, by their very nature, complex and difficult matters to investigate and can take a considerable amount of time. We appreciate that waiting for a conclusion will undoubtedly have caused additional distress to all those involved and we have made every effort to ensure this has been as timely as possible.

Cliff Richard in 1963

"However, it is in the interests of justice to investigate such matters thoroughly. We have a duty to explore any allegations relating to sexual abuse and other crimes and will go wherever the evidence takes us in order to protect victims and stop offending.

"We encourage victims of non-recent abuse to have the confidence to come forward, knowing they will be listened to and that their allegations will be taken seriously and investigated. It is also important for those under investigation to know they will be treated fairly."