Cliff Richard in court for case against BBC over sex probe coverage

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Sir Cliff Richard has arrived at the High Court for the start of a trial after suing the BBC.

The 77-year-old singer sued the corporation over coverage of a police raid at his apartment in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in August 2014 follow an allegation of sexual assault.

Sir Cliff, who denied wrongdoing and was not charged with any offence, says he suffered “profound and long-lasting damage” as a result of coverage and wants damages.

BBC editors have vowed to “defend ourselves vigorously”.

Sir Cliff Richard arrives at the Rolls Building in London (Yui Mok)
Sir Cliff Richard arrives at the Rolls Building in London (Yui Mok/PA)

Detail of the case emerged at preliminary hearings.

Lawyers have told Mr Justice Mann how in late 2013, a man made an allegation to the Metropolitan Police, saying he had been sexually assaulted by Sir Cliff at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane football stadium when he was a child in 1985.

Metropolitan Police officers passed the allegation to South Yorkshire Police in July 2014.

Sir Cliff denied the allegation and in June 2016 prosecutors announced he would face no charges.

A BBC spokesman said the corporation reported Sir Cliff’s “full denial of the allegations at every stage”.

The singer also sued South Yorkshire Police, but Mr Justice Mann has been told that dispute was settled after the force agreed to pay the singer ”substantial” damages.

Sir Cliff said nothing to reporters when he arrived at court.

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