British singer Cliff Richard wins damages over BBC televised police raid

British singer Cliff Richard poses for photographers with his band “Cliff Richard and The Shadows” before meeting fans at a music store in London, November 2009. (Reuters pic)

LONDON: British singer Cliff Richard won US$273,735.00 in damages on Wednesday after London’s High Court ruled the broadcaster had breached his privacy by televising a raid on his house which the entertainer said damaged his reputation.

The BBC broadcast detectives searching his home in August 2014 while Richard, 77, one of Britain’s best known entertainers, was away on holiday.

Richard was being investigated over allegations of historical child sex offences, but prosecutors said in 2016 he would not be charged due to lack of evidence.

After he was cleared of the charges, Richard, who maintained his innocence throughout the investigation, started legal action over the BBC’s reporting of the case.

Justice Anthony Mann said the BBC had infringed his privacy rights “without a legal justification.”

“It did so in a serious and also in a somewhat sensationalist way,” he said in his judgment.