Sir Cliff Richard will not be prosecuted for allegations saying he sexually abused kids during three decades, as reported by the Crown Prosecution Service. Attorneys determined that there was scarce evidence to take further action in the case.
The British pop singer, who has sold more than 250 copies worldwide, said he feels relieved that “vile accusations” have finally come to an end. He had been investigated for nearly two years, over allegations saying he abused four boys.
Since the home of the actor was raided two years ago, he decided not to speak in public about the case. Sir Richard said in a statement issued on Thursday that he cannot understand why the investigation took so long to “get to this point.”
“Even though I was under pressure to ‘speak out,’ other than to state my innocence, which was easy for me to do as I have never molested anyone in my life, I chose to remain silent. This was despite the widely-shared sense of injustice resulting from the high-profile fumbling of my case,” Sir Cliff Richard said to BBC.
According to the singer, people facing allegations of crime “should never be named publicly until charged.” Sir Cliff was named before police officers interviewed him. He has criticized the prosecution system, saying it affects the reputation of innocent people.
Poor Cliff Richard! There is no way that the raid on his home should have been leaked in the way it was. https://t.co/HfRR5P6dth
— Chloe Ingram (@chloeingram) June 16, 2016
‘No innocent person should be treated in this way’
Between 1958 and 1983 the musician was accused by four men, who claimed they were sexually abused, according to the Crown Prosecution Service. Sir Cliff said that a declaration from prosecutors is not enough to express that he is innocent.
He added that the Crown Prosecution Service’s statement only mentioned “in a general way” that there is “insufficient evidence to prosecute.” Due to this public policies, “my reputation will not be fully vindicated,” added Sir Cliff.
Sir Cliff thanked fans and members of the public for having supported him in a “wonderful and encouraging” way. He said the process of being accused would have been harder without backing from the media and fans.
673 days- Sir Cliff Richard's wait is over. pic.twitter.com/hX8ylMY99D
— Julian Druker (@Julian5News) June 16, 2016
Should British authorities revise police procedures surrounding sex abuse cases?
When police raided Sir Cliff’s home, all the process was filmed by a BBC helicopter. According to analysts, police should not have given that information to the media. Since that moment, the singer decided to remain silent about the case.
The South Yorkshire Police issued a statement on Thursday saying it apologises “wholeheartedly for the additional anxiety” caused to Sir Cliff after TV filmed the raid. An estimated $1,130,052 has been spent in the investigation for over two years, said the police.
According to police, it can be difficult to investigate a case when allegations are not recent. The Conservative Member of Parliament David Davis told BBC that prosecutors should make a “complete review” to police formalities involving cases of sex abuse.
Davis added that the public announcement of cases regarding sex abuse should also be reconsidered. He stressed that it is important to protect victims, as well as the reputation of innocent people.
Every police officer involved in the mistreatment of Cliff Richard should be ashamed of themselves https://t.co/WWuunPR2wx
— Tim Montgomerie ن (@montie) June 16, 2016
Source: BBC News