British prosecutors given "full file of evidence" in Cliff Richard sex abuse probe

UK's Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether to bring charges against singer

British prosecutors given "full file of evidence" in Cliff Richard sex abuse probe

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A file of evidence relating to allegations of historical sex abuse by Sir Cliff Richard has been handed to prosecutors.

The file was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) by South Yorkshire Police.

The CPS said it will "carefully consider" whether to bring charges or not against the 75-year-old entertainer.

"We have received a full file of evidence from South Yorkshire Police," a CPS spokesman said.

"We will now carefully consider its contents in line with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, in order to establish whether there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and whether it is in the public interest to do so."

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "Investigation files relating to allegations of non-recent sexual abuse involving a 75-year-old man have been handed over to the CPS.

"The CPS will now consider the matter and South Yorkshire Police awaits their decision."

Allegations

Sir Cliff, who was knighted in 1995, has always denied any wrongdoing. 

His Berkshire home was searched by officers in August 2014 as part of the investigation.

He has also been interviewed by police twice - once in 2014 and again last year. He was questioned voluntarily and was not arrested.

Sky's Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said: "We don't know specifically how many allegations there are - we think there are two."

Brunt said one claim is believed to relate to an alleged incident at an event held by American evangelist preacher Billy Graham in a Sheffield park in 1985.

A historical claim of a sexual nature was made involving a boy who was under the age of 16 at the time.
Brunt said it could be weeks before the CPS makes its decision.

"Prosecutors must now decide whether there's a public interest in charging Sir Cliff and if there's sufficient evidence with which to do so," he said.