Prosecutors handed South Yorkshire’s evidence file on Cliff Richard sex abuse claims

Sir Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff Richard

Prosecutors are to consider whether to charge Sir Cliff Richard after being handed a file of evidence by South Yorkshire detectives relating to historic sexual abuse allegations against the singer.

The Crown Prosecution Service revealed today that it had received a “full file of evidence from South Yorkshire Police”, 21 months after Sir Cliff’s Berkshire penthouse was raided by the force.

The singer, who has not been arrested or charged and denies any wrongdoing, has been interviewed twice by police after being accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy during a Christian concert at Bramall Lane, Sheffield, in 1985.

A CPS spokeswoman said: “We have received a full file of evidence from South Yorkshire Police.

“We will now carefully consider its contents in line with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, in order to establish whether there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and whether it is in the public interest to do so.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Investigation files relating to allegations of non-recent sexual abuse involving a 75-year-old man, have been handed over to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

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

Sir Cliff was interviewed under caution in 2014 by detectives investigating a claim of a sex crime involving a young boy in the 1980s, but was not arrested or charged.

He was questioned again last year.

Controversy erupted when the raid on his home in Berkshire in August 2014 was broadcast on live TV after an agreement was forged between the BBC and South Yorkshire Police.

A report commissioned by the county’s former police and crime commissioner later found that the move “certainly interfered with his privacy and may well have caused unnecessary distress”.

Last year the star’s representatives attacked the Home Affairs Select Committee for publishing a letter from Chief Constable David Crompton that revealed the police investigation had increased “significantly” in size and involved more than one allegation.

Sir Cliff’s lawyers claimed the disclosure caused him a “further round of unnecessary and extremely damaging media coverage”.

A spokesman for Sir Cliff said: “It would be inappropriate to comment while the matter is under review.”