Singer Cliff Richard wins privacy case against BBC

Cliff Richard leaves the court building Wednesday after winning his case.

London (CNN)British singer Cliff Richard won a High Court case Wednesday against the BBC over its coverage of a police raid on his home in August 2014.

He has been awarded £210,000 ($273,734) in general damages, with a further hearing to decide what special damages he should be awarded.
Richard sued the national broadcaster for invasion of privacy over its coverage of the police search, which resulted from a sexual assault allegation. The singer denied the allegation and has never faced charges.
    High Court Justice Anthony Mann ruled that Richard's right to privacy was infringed upon by the BBC in a "serious" and also "somewhat sensationalist way."
    He added: "I have rejected the BBC's case that it was justified in reporting as it did under its rights to freedom of expression and freedom of the press."
    Speaking outside the court, a teary Richard said it was "going to take a little while to get over the whole emotional factor."
    The singer's motivation for suing the BBC was "not for personal gain," his lawyer Gideon Benaim told reporters, but to ensure "no innocent person would have to endure what he went through."
    Richard "knew all along he would be substantially out of pocket no matter what," Benaim added.
    Fans gathered outside the court sang lines from his hit song "Congratulations" as the performer and his legal team left, the UK's Press Association news agency said.
    Sir Cliff Richard and The Shadows perform in London in September 2009.
    A statement from the BBC press office said the broadcaster was "looking at an appeal" against the High Court ruling, while adding that it was "sorry for the distress" the singer has suffered.
    The judgment "creates new case law and represents a dramatic shift against press freedom and the long-standing ability of journalists to report on police investigations, which in some cases has led to further complainants coming forward," the statement said.
    While conceding that "on reflection there are things we would have done differently," the BBC said the ruling means "it will make it harder to scrutinise the conduct of the police and we fear it will undermine the wider principle of the public's right to know."
      South Yorkshire Police -- the force which carried out the raid -- had earlier agreed to pay Richard substantial damages in the sum of £400,000, plus costs.
      Richard -- born Harry Rodger Webb -- has sold more than 250 million records in a career that began in the 1950s. His first No. 1 hit in the United Kingdom was in 1959 with "Living Doll." He was knighted in 1995, giving him the title Sir Cliff Richard.