The trial of the case of Sir Cliff Richard v BBC continued yesterday before Mr Justice Mann at the Rolls Building in London. The claim is for breaches of privacy and data protection rights arising out of the reporting of information about the search of Sir Cliff’s apartment in August 2014.
The evidence of the South Yorkshire Police Head of Communications, Carrie Goodwin was concluded. She accepted that she knew how the BBC planned to handle the story a month before the search was carried out.
Unusually, a South Yorkshire press officer was send to attend the raid which took place in the Thames Valley Police area. Ms Goodwin accepted that Thames Valley police were not told that South Yorkshire Police were liaising with the BBC.
She accepted that she did not complain to the BBC about their use of helicopter footage in the news broadcast at 1pm on the day of the raid but she did discuss making a formal complaint.
Evidence was then given by solicitor Paul Morris who went to the property on the day of the search after having been contacted by Sir Cliff’s manager. He did not know what suspected offences were being investigated.
Mr Morris told the court that the investigation lasted 2 years and Sir Cliff was never arrested but was interviewed on 2 occasions.
Sir Cliff’s manager, Malcolm Smith, gave evidence at 2pm. He said that Sir Cliff had two albums and an autobiography underway at the time of the search. He said that the investigation was prolonged because there were many additional false accusations which he believed were the result of the BBC publicising the raid.
There was also a witness statement from Gloria Hunniford who was not required to attend for cross-examination.
She said that Sir Cliff seemed “utterly distraught” that the search and allegations had been broadcast so widely. She said that he could not stop talking about how violated and betrayed he feels about the BBC decision to broadcast the police search.
The case continues.