LADIES of a certain age will be sighing with relief and dusting off their vinyl following the news on June 16 that Harry Webb, better known as Sir Cliff Richard will not be facing any charges in respect of allegations of historical sexual abuse of four men in a period running from 1958 to 1983.
Once known as the ‘Peter Pan of Pop’, the singer released a statement saying he was “obviously thrilled that the vile accusations and the resulting investigation have finally been brought to a close”.
He feels that he has been victimised by the fact that the investigation was announced before he was even interviewed and the police not only wasted public money but set him up by bringing a BBC news crew when they raided his property.
There is some additional comfort in the fact that, South Yorkshire Police apologised “wholeheartedly for the additional anxiety caused” to Sir Cliff by the force’s “initial handling of the media interest” in its investigation.
It almost appears that the police force generally having failed to spot the offences of Jimmy Savile and other high-profile child molesters decided to spread their net as widely as possible and have made a big thing of their determination to get to the bottom of all allegations in order not so much to protect the innocent but to show that they are active.
In this case at least, it appears that an innocent party has been vilified before any positive evidence had even been found.