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Cliff Richard case: Helicopter shots 'used sparingly'

by InterSpaceReporter

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Helicopter shots of a police raid on Sir Cliff Richard’s home in 2014 were used sparingly and nothing private was broadcast, lawyers for the BBC have told the High Court.

Sir Cliff is suing the BBC over the misuse of private information and breaking data protection rules.

Gavin Millar QC, for the BBC, said shots were focused on what the police were doing, not the singer’s home.

Mr Justice Mann reserved his judgement and will hand it down “in due course”.

Footage of a search of the singer’s flat in Sunningdale, Berkshire, was broadcast in August 2014 as part of a report on South Yorkshire Police’s sexual assault inquiry into the singer.

Sir Cliff was not arrested or charged.

The 77-year-old singer says broadcasting the images of the search of his home was a “very serious invasion” of privacy, but the BBC says the story was in the public interest.

In his final submissions, Mr Millar said shots had been taken from the air to illustrate the story.

“Officers were shown walking in and out,” Mr Millar told Mr Justice Mann.

“It was not directed at (Sir Cliff’s) home but directed at what the police officers were doing.

“They didn’t show anything private in the sense of his private life.”

He said the singer must accept “some reduction in his private life” as the singer had “used that status to give his opinions on moral and religious issues in interviews”.

South Yorkshire Police conducted the search of Sir Cliff’s flat while investigating an allegation the singer sexually assaulted a boy under the age of 16 in Sheffield in 1985.

Sir Cliff denied the allegation and in June 2016 it was announced he would not face any charges.

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

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