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Reporter messaged police press officer about ‘bonkers but brilliant’ day

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A BBC reporter who covered a South Yorkshire Police search of Sir Cliff Richard’s home texted a force press officer about a “bonkers but brilliant” day, a High Court judge has been told.

The press officer replied saying she was getting “lots of grief from the media” because “everyone thinks we tipped you off”.

Detail of the text conversation between journalist Dan Johnson and Carrie Goodwin, head of corporate communications at South Yorkshire Police, emerged as Mr Justice Mann analysed evidence during the latest stage of a High Court trial in London.

A barrister leading the BBC’s legal team outlined the message exchange as he questioned Ms Goodwin.

Gavin Millar QC said Ms Goodwin had texted Mr Johnson a few hours after South Yorkshire Police officers travelled to carry out a search, and after the BBC broadcast, to ask how the day had gone.

Mr Johnson had texted back saying “bonkers but brilliant”, the court heard.

She had replied: “Everyone thinks we tipped you off so lots of grief from the media but nothing we cannot handle.”

Mr Millar suggested that the force had gone “out of its way” to enable the BBC journalists to report the search in the way they wanted.

Ms Goodwin denied the suggestion.

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