UK & World News
Freddie Starr: No Prosecution Over Sex Claims
Comedian Freddie Starr will not be prosecuted over allegations of sexual offences, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.
The 71-year-old was arrested as part of Operation Yewtree, the police investigation which began following revelations about Jimmy Savile, in relation to 13 alleged victims.
Action will also not be taken over another victim because it is not in the public interest, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
The comedian told reporters he was "very relieved".
Baljit Ubhey, the Chief Crown Prosecutor of CPS London, said: "Having carefully reviewed this case, we have decided that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute Freddie Starr in relation to allegations of sexual offences made by 13 individuals.
"Each allegation was considered on its own merits and we have concluded that the available evidence does not offer a realistic prospect of conviction for any of the alleged offences.
"In relation to one further complainant, we have decided that although there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, according to the Code for Crown Prosecutors, a prosecution would not be in the public interest.
"It must be remembered that a determination by a prosecutor that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute under the code does not mean that the suspect is guilty of the offence.
"Prosecutors have to consider whether there is enough evidence to bring a case to trial but deciding whether an offence has been committed is entirely a matter for courts and juries and every suspect is innocent until proven guilty."
She added: "All of these decisions have been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and our guidance for prosecutors on cases of sexual offences. The complainants have been informed and we will be writing to them to more fully explain our decision."
A frail-looking Mr Starr thanked supporters outside his home in Warwickshire.
The comedian's lawyer, Dean Dunham, accused Scotland Yard of a "flagrant breach" of his client's human rights due to delays in the case.
He said: "I've seen the toll it's taken on him. He's a man of good character, he remains a man of good character, and I'd ask the public to now stand by this man.
"There can be no doubt that it innocence has been proven.
"At the moment we need to concentrate on getting Freddie back to his health. We will be looking at this further. Things have gone wrong here."
Mr Starr was first arrested in November 2012 and was released on bail several times over the following 18 months.
Mr Dunham claimed a charging decision was made in the case last month, but the CPS delayed making it public because of the trial of publicist Max Clifford.