BBC lawyers will ask permission to appeal Sir Cliff Richard privacy ruling in High Court over police raid footage

Lawyers representing the BBC are to ask a High Court judge for permission to appeal against his findings in its privacy battle with Sir Cliff Richard, Radio 4 reported today.

Mr Justice Mann is due to deal with the latest stage of the row between Sir Cliff Richard and the corporation at a hearing in the High Court today.

Sir Cliff sued the BBC over its coverage of a South Yorkshire Police raid on his home in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in August 2014, following an allegation that he had assaulted a boy some years ago.

Earlier this month Mr Justice Mann ruled in Sir Cliff’s favour following a trial.

The judge concluded that coverage was a “very serious” privacy invasion and awarded the 77-year-old singer £210,000 damages.

He said the award would be made up of £190,000 to cover the “general effect” coverage had on Sir Cliff’s life – plus £20,000 because the BBC had aggravated harm by nominating its coverage for an award.

The judge has yet to decide how badly Sir Cliff was left out of pocket.

Sir Cliff had told him that plans for “professional work” had been “seriously disrupted” and he said he had been left “in effect in creative limbo” for two years as a result of the BBC’s coverage.

Lawyers say the amount the judge awards to compensate for financial loss could be much more than £210,000.

During the trial Mr Justice Mann was told that, in late 2013, a man told the Metropolitan Police that in 1985, when he was a child he was sexually assaulted by Sir Cliff during an event featuring evangelist Billy Graham at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane football stadium.

Metropolitan Police officers passed the allegation to South Yorkshire Police in July 2014.

Sir Cliff, who has consistently denied the allegation, was never arrested and in June 2016 prosecutors announced he would face no charges.

The BBC has already said that it was considering an appeal.

Corporation lawyers would first have to get permission to appeal. Either Mr Justice Mann himself or a Court of Appeal judge could give that permission.

Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Source: Digital Journalism
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