Essex

Michael Barrymore: Police win damages appeal

Michael Barrymore Image copyright PA
Image caption Michael Barrymore was arrested on suspicion of the rape and murder of Stuart Lubbock in 2007

Entertainer Michael Barrymore will receive only nominal damages from Essex Police after an unlawful arrest which he claimed had "destroyed his career".

The comedian and TV presenter had hoped for a payout of more than £2.4m from the force in relation to his 2007 wrongful arrest on suspicion of the rape and murder of Stuart Lubbock.

Essex Police challenged the amount it owed him and has won its appeal.

This Court of Appeal ruling overturns the 2017 High Court ruling.

Three judges ruled in London earlier that 66-year-old Mr Barrymore was "entitled to nominal damages only", despite his lawyer claiming the arrest had produced a "devastating" effect on his career.

Further hearings are expected to decide the final amount of compensation Mr Barrymore will receive and Essex Police has said it will seek costs from the entertainer.

Mr Barrymore previously brought legal action against the police for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment under his real name, Michael Ciaran Parker, claiming that he was owed millions of pounds in compensation for lost earnings.

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Image copyright Other
Image caption Mr Lubbock was found dead in the entertainer's swimming pool in 2001

The star was detained in relation to Mr Lubbock's death after the 31-year-old's body was found in Mr Barrymore's swimming pool at his home in Roydon, Essex, in 2001.

He was arrested alongside two other men but no charges were ever brought.

The arrest was unlawful because the arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to suspect Mr Barrymore, a high court judge Mr Justice Stuart-Smith said in August 2017.

An officer who could have legally detained the star was stuck in traffic at the time.

Image caption Mr Barrymore's Essex home became the centre of inquiries into how Mr Lubbock died

Essex Police said in a statement: "The Court of Appeal has today confirmed that had a different procedure been followed on 14 June 2007 the arrest of Mr Parker would have been lawful and have declared that only nominal damages are paid by the force."

It also said the investigation into Mr Lubbock's death remained open and that its thoughts were with his family.

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