Sir Cliff Richard says sex allegations against him are “absurd”: Police probe expanding as more allegations are made

February 26, 2015 10:08 am

says sex allegations against him are “absurd” and he has no idea where they have come from.
His
comments come as police say the investigation into Sir Cliff has
“increased significantly in size” and involves “more than one
allegation”.
South Yorkshire’s Chief Constable David Crompton
said the “expanding nature” of the probe into an historical sex offence
meant he could not give a date when it would be concluded.
In a
letter to Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select
Committee, Mr Crompton said the force was in regular contact with Sir
Cliff’s lawyers.

Cliff Richard. Photo / AP
Cliff Richard. Photo / AP

Mr Crompton said: “Typically this involves a verbal update about once a fortnight.
“We
have not written directly to Sir Cliff Richard. It is the
responsibility of his lawyers to ensure he is fully briefed on the
conversations which have taken place with investigators.

“This is an investigation which has increased significantly in
size since its inception. Sir Cliff Richard’s lawyers are aware that
there is more than one allegation.”
He added: “In view of the
expanding nature of the investigation, it would be premature and
potentially misleading to predict a likely date when it will be
concluded; however, we are progressing as swiftly as possible.”
Two paragraphs of the letter from Mr Crompton were blacked out before being released.
In a statement released this evening by Sir Cliff, the singer stated he had no idea from where the allegations had emerged.
He said: “I have no idea where these absurd and untrue allegations come from.
“The
police have not disclosed details to me. I have never, in my life,
assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail. I
have cooperated fully with the police, and will, of course, continue to
do so.
“Beyond stating that the allegations are completely false,
it would not be appropriate for me to say anything further until the
investigation has concluded, which I hope will be very soon.
“In the meantime, I would, again, like to thank everyone for supporting me through this unbelievably difficult period.”
The
publication of the letter from Mr Crompton, dated February 10, followed
a scathing independent report into an agreement between South Yorkshire
Police and the BBC which led to a raid on the singer’s home being
broadcast live around the world.
The independent report found
that the deal “certainly interfered with his privacy and may well have
caused unnecessary distress”.
Following the raid, Sir Cliff was
interviewed by detectives investigating a claim of a sex crime involving
a young boy, but was not arrested or charged.
Former chief
constable Andy Trotter said South Yorkshire Police should never have a
made a deal with the broadcaster – a decision taken after BBC reporter
Dan Johnson went to the force saying he knew they were investigating the
veteran entertainer.
Mr Crompton said a Metropolitan Police investigation into the source of the leak to the BBC had been unable to find the source.
A
spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service today said it was providing
“investigative advice” in relation to the allegations but it had not
been presented with any file for a charging decision.
The
spokesman added: “The CPS is providing early investigative advice in
relation to allegations of sexual offences committed by a 74-year-old
man, interviewed by police in August 2014.
“The allegations remain under investigation by South Yorkshire Police.”
Officers
raided the home of Sir Cliff, 74, in Berkshire last August, when he was
on holiday, over allegations which dated back to the 1980s and involved
an underage boy.
South Yorkshire Police refused to comment on the investigation.

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