CELEBRITY

Sir Cliff Richard has been cleared of sex assault allegations

He has now broken his silence

Singer Sir Cliff Richard, one of Britain’s best-known entertainers, will not face charges over allegations he sexually abused four boys more than 30 years ago.

Earlier on Thursday, the Crown Prosecution Service said following a ‘careful review’ of the case, it had decided there was ‘insufficient evidence to prosecute’.

Sir Cliff came under suspicion after four men made claims of abuse dating back to between 1958 and 1983. Detectives raided his home in Berkshire in 2014 and it was broadcast live on TV, following a controversial agreement between the BBC and the force.

He has now broken his silence to criticise the handling of the matter adding that the allegations had tarnished his reputation. 

‘I was named before I was even interviewed (by police) and for me that was like being hung out like live bait’, said Richard.

‘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 for ever 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.’

South Yorkshire police apologised ‘wholeheartedly for the additional anxiety caused’ to Richard by the force’s ‘initial handling of the media interest’ in its investigation into the singer. 

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