17 Jun 2016

No charges in Sir Cliff Richard sex abuse inquiry

7:57 am on 17 June 2016

Singer Sir Cliff Richard will face no further action over allegations of historical sex abuse, prosecutors say.

Cliff Richard performs during the 'Still Reelin' And A-Rockin' tour at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, May 2014

Cliff Richard on stage in 2014. Photo: AFP

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it had decided there was "insufficient evidence to prosecute".

Sir Cliff said he was "obviously thrilled that the vile accusations and the resulting investigation have finally been brought to a close".

But he said his naming by the media, despite not being charged, meant he had been "hung out like live bait".

Four men claimed offences took place between 1958 and 1983, the CPS said.

It is understood that one of the complainants intends to use the Victims' Right to Review Scheme to appeal against the decision not to bring charges.

'Spurious claims'

In a statement, Sir Cliff said: "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."

He criticised 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," he said.

"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."

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