16/06/2016 10:19 BST | Updated 16/06/2016 11:46 BST

Cliff Richard Historic Sex Abuse Allegations Dropped Due To 'Insufficient Evidence'

Complainants provided with a 'full explanation'.

South Yorkshire Police apologised "wholeheartedly" to Sir Cliff Richard on Thursday after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropped the sex assault case against him due to "insufficient evidence". 

The force said it was sorry for the "additional anxiety" it had caused the performer and the "initial handling of the media interest" in its investigation. 

Richard has also spoken out since the case was abandoned saying he is "obviously thrilled that the vile accusations and the resulting investigation have finally been brought to a closure". 

He also said: "I have never molested anyone in my life."

Neil Lupin via Getty Images
Cliff Richard has been cleared of historic sex assault allegations 

Martin Goldman, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Yorkshire and Humberside, has been quoted as saying the CPS had decided there was "insufficient evidence to prosecute" Richard.

The entertainer had been investigated over historic sex offence claims made by four men dating between 1958 and 1983.

Police passed on its files on Richard to prosectors for review in May

The Telegraph quoted Goldman as saying: “This decision has been made in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and our guidance for prosecutors on cases of sexual offences.  

“The CPS worked with police during the investigation. This has helped minimise the time needed to reach a decision once we received the complete file of evidence on 10 May."

Goldman said the complainants had been informed of the decision and provided with a "full explanation". 

Since his house was raided by police in 2014 Richard has been questioned twice by police. He is said to have strenuously denied allegations that he groped a young boy at a Christian rally at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane football ground in 1985.

The 75-year-old has been voluntarily interviewed by police but has never been arrested or charged.