Friday, 15 July 2016

Thoughts on Sir Cliff Richard

I imagine there are few people in this country of ours who do not feel sorry for Sir Cliff Richard. Ever since the police raided his home, in the glare of maximum publicity, in August 2014, he has been living under a dark shadow, doubtless uneasy in mind, angry, frustrated. Although he was never arrested, he was under police investigation, with its concomitant daily anxiety and endured all the misery of the media circus, for nearly two years before being informed that no charges were to be brought against him.

I have first-hand experience of what a lengthy bail term feels like as I had to endure 762 days of it during 2013-2014, only then to receive an immediate and unanimous acquittal by a jury. When you have been falsely accused, such allegations are the first thing that you think about when you wake up in the morning and the last thing on your mind at night before you, eventually, fall asleep.

The whole experience is tortuous. While on bail, not only do you have to consider the worst of all possible outcomes, you also have to deal with the poison which is spat in your direction on a regular basis from the online untutored mob, many of whom have never met you and for whom any allegation means certain guilt. Being accused of child abuse is a particularly challenging experience and elicits the most appalling lies and insults via social media, just when you are feeling at your lowest.

No one accused of a crime, particularly alleged child abuse, should have his or her name made public until that person is at least charged with an offence, although there are those who feel someone should keep anonymity until a guilty verdict is announced in a court. I feel this particularly applies to famous people like Sir Cliff, because, with the present preposterous system of handing out vast quantities of cash to any malicious opportunist (and there many) who claim to have been abused, these celebrities are like sitting ducks. If we are to pay out compensation money, it should go straight to the medical professional who has been called in to help the victim. This would ensure that only the genuinely abused come forward.

Even if you are found not guilty, or charges are dropped, the internet search engines will be most reluctant to remove the references to groundless allegations that have been made or, at the very at least, agree to replace earlier negative coverage of a case with news that the person has been acquitted by a jury after all the evidence has been heard or that no further action is to be taken. So much for the right to be 'forgotten', even when your name has been cleared in court.

Once you have been the innocent victim of a false allegation, it is like being branded on your forehead for the rest of your life. The reputation of one of this country's finest entertainers has been tarnished forever and it is a modern day disgrace. I wish Sir Cliff every success with his ongoing civil action against those authorities and institutions that have made his terrible ordeal so much worse.


  1. Sir Cliff Richard was not on bail. When will people get it. This man was NOT arrested, NOT charged with any offence. He was NOT on bail.

    1. Quite right. Thanks for your comment. Above post has been amended!

  2. The ordinary person who is falsely accused has no chance. No wealth to employ solicitor with PI. Legal aid defence do as little as possible. T May mantra " you will be beleived" and CPS charging without corroborative evidence mean that the Juries must believe the accuser and are guessing!!! There are 000s of innocent people sitting in cells. Their lives destroyed, their families in Trauma, The situation is outrageous. It is a National Scandal!! And we need a public inquiry into all HSA TRIALS. Convictions without corroborative evidence are NOT SAFE!!! The Justice System is creating VICTIMS not protecting them... There are now more VICTIMS of false accusers and wrongful convictions than there are truly abused.

  3. The point of the helicopters and so on was to generate more abuse claims, conviction is now done on quality not quantity. We have legalised mud slinging.

  4. Sir Jimmy was never charged either. Fairness and Justice for all including the dead !