Essex

Michael Barrymore: Entertainer 'should get substantial damages'

Michael Barrymore Image copyright PA
Image caption Michael Barrymore says his wrongful arrest over the death of a man at his home destroyed his career

Entertainer Michael Barrymore should get substantial damages for being wrongfully arrested in 2007, his lawyer has told the High Court.

The former TV presenter is suing Essex Police, saying his arrest over Stuart Lubbock's death destroyed his career.

Police admitted the arrest was unlawful as the officer involved had not been fully briefed, but argued Mr Barrymore could have been lawfully detained by another officer instead.

The 65-year-old is suing for £2.5m.

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Mr Lubbock's body was found floating in the swimming pool at the entertainer's home in Roydon, near Harlow, in 2001.

Post-mortem tests found the 31-year-old butcher had suffered severe internal injuries indicating sexual assault, and his bloodstream contained ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol.

Six years later, Mr Barrymore and two other men were arrested after new evidence emerged, police said. They were later released without charge.

Image copyright Other
Image caption Stuart Lubbock was found dead in Michael Barrymore's swimming pool in 2001

Mr Barrymore was at London's High Court to hear his counsel, Hugh Tomlinson QC, say his client had "made it clear he did not kill or assault Mr Lubbock".

Mr Tomlinson said: "Although he was arrested, he was never charged with any offence and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) subsequently made it crystal clear there was no basis for any charges.

"Our case is that when speculation, rumour and conjecture are put to one side, it is clear there is no evidence against the claimant in relation to any offence concerning Mr Lubbock."

He added: "This arrest was made without any proper evidential foundation.

"However, the fact that it had happened, and the worldwide publicity it received, destroyed the claimant's career."

The hearing continues.

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