Sir Cliff Richard's lawyers '˜tried to mitigate damage following BBC report'

One of Sir Cliff Richard's solicitors has told a High Court judge how lawyers did their best to 'mitigate the damage' following a BBC broadcast of a police search at the singer's home.

Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 12:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 12:51 pm
Sir Cliff Richard arrives at the Rolls Building in London for the continuing legal action against the BBC over coverage of a police raid at his apartment in Berkshire in August 2014. PIC: PA

Gideon Benaim, who works for law firm Simkins, told Mr Justice Mann how Sir Cliff asked lawyers to take what reasonable steps they could to prevent “consequent damage”.

He said he thought the police investigation would have been shorter if the BBC journalists had not covered events in the way they did.

Sir Cliff has taken legal action against the BBC over coverage of the South Yorkshire Police search of his apartment in Sunningdale, Berkshire, which was staged after a sex assault allegation, in August 2014, and wants damages at “top end” of the scale.

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He said the coverage was a “very serious invasion” of his privacy.

The BBC disputes his claims.

Bosses say coverage of the search was accurate and in good faith.

Mr Justice Mann began overseeing the trial last Thursday.

Sir Cliff said nothing to waiting journalists as he arrived the hearing on Wednesday.

A BBC reporter who broke the story about Sir Cliff’s home being searched is preparing to give evidence.

Dan Johnson is scheduled to answer questions from lawyers representing Sir Cliff on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Benaim said Sir Cliff had been in a “crisis” situation.

He said: “We worked throughout the period alongside Sir Cliff’s PR advisers, which is an entirely normal practice and indeed necessary in crisis situations, which is clearly what Sir Cliff found himself in due to the BBC’s actions.”