Sir Cliff Richard awarded £210,000 in damages after privacy battle with BBC

19 July, 2018, 23:14 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • Emotional Sir Cliff faces the media outside court

Senior BBC managers have to "carry the can", Sir Cliff Richard has said, after winning his privacy case over the coverage of a police raid on his home.

Handing down his judgment and awarding the singer 210,000 pounds ($273,700) in damages, Justice Anthony Mann said the BBC had infringed Richard's privacy rights "without a legal justification" and "in a somewhat sensationalist way". The veteran popstar - who was previously given £400,000 by the police in an out-of-court settlement past year - was today awarded £210,000 damages, which is set to rise at a later date.

"I'm choked up", said Sir Cliff, after the ruling. It means police investigations, and searches of people's homes, could go unreported and unscrutinised.

The BBC has said it is "very sorry" for causing the singer distress but stood by its decision to report the investigation.

Standing alongside Sir Cliff outside court, his solicitor Gideon Benaim said the singer's motivation was "not for personal gain" but to "right a wrong".

'It will make it harder to scrutinise the conduct of the police and we fear it will undermine the wider principle of the public's right to know.

Mr Jordan said the BBC will look in depth at the 200-page judgement before deciding on whether or not to appeal.

"We don't believe this is compatible with liberty and press freedoms; something that has been at the heart of this country for generations".

Alleged incident Billy Graham at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane ground in 1985
Alleged incident Billy Graham at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane ground in 1985

Other media experts said the ruling would have enormous bearing on whether the media can identify someone who is under investigation by police but who has not been charged.

The BBC heard about the police investigation and cut a deal with the South Yorkshire Police in which they agreed to delay breaking the story.

Sir Cliff had told the judge his plans for "professional work" had been "seriously disrupted".

In his evidence, Sir Cliff had said in the years leading up to August 2014, he had worked regularly, released a new album every 18 months or so and usually played a number of concerts.

COURT: Doncaster man jailed for attacking woman with baseball bat while her young son slept upstairsHe claimed the coverage was a "very serious invasion" of his privacy but the BBC disputes his claim and insists the coverage was accurate and in good faith.

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.

Sir Cliff denied the allegation and was never arrested, and in June 2016 prosecutors announced that he would face no charges.

The singer has already received £400,000 in damages from South Yorkshire police who had tipped-off the broadcaster about the raid that was broadcast live from a helicopter.


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