Sir Cliff Richard has sparked a furious furor in the UK after the singer speculated he’d rather see 10 criminals walk free than one innocent person wrongly accused or falsely imprisoned.
The Evening Standard reports that Sir Cliff, who was wrongly accused of sexual assault, aired the suggestion during an appearance on TV talk show Loose Women.
The 78-year-old knight of the realm fought and won a high-profile High Court case against the BBC earlier this year. Sir Cliff argued that he has never faced criminal charges yet the BBC chose to give intensive coverage to a police raid on his home.
Sir Cliff was awarded more than £210,000 in damages from the BBC and South Yorkshire Police over the significant damage done to his reputation.
Understandably, the “Living Doll” singer is aggrieved at the way he has been treated, but many felt he’s gone a bit too far with his recent comments.
Sir Cliff explained to Loose Women that there’s not just a few of wrongly accused people but an “army.” He then revealed he’s been inundated with letters of support from people in similar situations. He called for a change in the law and quoted Judge William Blackstone who stated in the Commentaries on the Laws of England, which was published in the 1760s, that “the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”
Sir Cliff said, “Some people have spent two years in prison and been innocent. It’s the danger of if we don’t change the law it’s going to keep happening to innocent people.
“When I was in the court with the BBC I saw a quote that I loved, a Judge Blackstone from way back, said: ‘I would rather 10 guilty people escape than one innocent person suffer.'”
However social media has not reacted well to Sir Cliff’s comments.
One Twitter user was particularly upset and snapped, “Cliff Richard just said one of the stupidest and most offensive things I’ve ever heard in television. Did he just say he’d rather 10 guilty sex offenders go free than one person be wrongly accused? Maybe I misheard… Insane.”
Yet another upped the ante and declared, “Cliff Richard repeating his line that he’d rather 10 guilty rapists walk the streets than one innocent person be investigated on #LooseWomen is gross and abhorrent.”
“He’s turned my stomach saying that 10 guilty men should go free to save one who’s innocent. Absolute disgrace.”