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Sir Cliff Richard 'obviously pleased' as ruling on sex assault charges upheld

Sir Cliff Richard has said he is "obviously pleased" after decisions not to charge him over historical sex abuse allegations were upheld.

The veteran singer spoke of his hope that the development "brings this matter to a close" after a review concluded the CPS was correct not to prosecute.

Sir Cliff was the subject of a long-running South Yorkshire Police investigation, which centred on accusations dating between 1958 and 1983 made by four men.

Earlier this year the CPS announced that no charges were to be brought as a result of the inquiry.

It subsequently received applications to review two of the charging decisions, under the Victims' Right to Review scheme.

In a statement on Tuesday a CPS spokesman said: " In accordance with the scheme, a CPS lawyer who was not involved in the original decision-making process has completed a full review of the evidence and has concluded that the decisions not to charge were correct."

Following the announcement Sir Cliff said: "As I have said previously, I'm innocent, so I'm obviously pleased with today's CPS decision and the speed with which they reached it. I hope that it brings this matter to a close."

The 75-year-old was never arrested and in June the CPS announced that it had decided that no further action should be taken against him, saying there was "insufficient evidence" to prosecute.

The singer later spoke of the devastating impact of his ordeal. Sir Cliff told the Daily Mail how he was taken ill on a tennis court in one episode.

He said: "I went ahead, but I could hardly lift my arm up. I was told, 'Just take it gently', but I couldn't do that either. I couldn't understand what was happening to me. I thought I was going to die."

Officers were filmed searching Sir Cliff's apartment in Berkshire in 2014, leading to him being publicly named as the subject of the probe.

In July the star said his life was "effectively turned upside down", as he confirmed he was suing the BBC and South Yorkshire Police over live coverage of the raid.

In a statement issued on the day the CPS's original decision was announced in June, the police force said it "apologises wholeheartedly for the additional anxiety caused by our initial handling of the media interest in this case".

Later that month the BBC s aid it was "very sorry" Sir Cliff "suffered distress" but added that it "stands by the decision to report the investigation undertaken by the South Yorkshire Police and the search of his property".

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