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Sir Cliff Richard’s self-esteem may have suffered ‘permanent damage’ at trial


Sir Cliff Richard may have suffered “possibly permanent damage” to his self-esteem after a search of his home was broadcast by the BBC in 2014, the singer’s barrister has said.

Justin Rushbrooke QC told the High Court that Sir Cliff, 77, should get “very substantial damages” of more than £175,000.

Mr Justice Mann is considering barristers’ closing legal arguments after analysing evidence.

The coverage, which included use of a helicopter, was a “very serious invasion” of his privacy, Sir Cliff has told the judge.

He has since sold the apartment in Sunningdale, Berkshire.

The BBC disputes the claims and bosses have insisted the corporation’s coverage was accurate and in good faith.

Sir Cliff Richard enters the High Court for his second day of a trial against the BBC
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Sir Cliff’s barrister says damages should be ‘very substantial’

But Mr Rushbrooke said the BBC had “added considerable insult to the injury that its coverage caused” by “cross-examining (Sir Cliff) in an intrusive way about his religious and political beliefs”.

In some cases, the QC said, these were views Sir Cliff had expressed “decades previously”.

There was no “reasonable justification” for such a course of questioning, Mr Rushbrooke said, adding that the “purpose of doing so appeared to be to insinuate hypocrisy on his part”.

“The latter part of the cross-examination also caused him to relive very painful events in a way, or to an extent, that was unjustified and caused him to break down in tears,” Mr Rushbrooke said in a written submission.

In general, however, Sir Cliff had coped with the “unnecessary and largely unpleasant experience” with “commendable phlegm”, Mr Rushbrooke said.

South Yorkshire Police has already agreed to pay Sir Cliff £400,000 after settling a claim he brought against the force, Mr Justice Mann has heard.

The judge was given the figure by lawyers representing the force earlier in the trial.

BBC bosses have said reporting was confined to “basic facts” and was “in the public interest”.

Gavin Millar QC, representing the BBC, told the judge: “The allegation being investigated was of a serious criminal offence.

“The BBC’s reporting was confined to the most basic facts, visual images, concerning the investigation and the search.”

He added: “There was nothing in the reporting that was inconsistent with the presumption of innocence.”

Mr Millar said Sir Cliff’s claim should be dismissed.



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