The entertainer Michael Barrymore is to get “more than nominal damages” after claiming his wrongful arrest by police destroyed his career. The 65-year-old was detained ten years ago on suspicion of the rape and murder of Stuart Lubbock.Mr Barrymore, 65, who was not present for the High Court decision, values his claim at more than £2.4m.Essex Police admits Mr Barrymore’s arrest was unlawful. A figure for the damages to be paid is yet to be set.Michael Barrymore: How the British TV king lost his crown
Mr Lubbock’s body was found in the swimming pool of Mr Barrymore’s home in Roydon, Essex, in 2001.Mr Barrymore was arrested six years later in connection with the 31-year-old’s death.Mr Justice Stuart-Smith, sitting in London on Friday, ruled against the force, which had argued Mr Barrymore should only receive a nominal payout.The judge did not decide on the sum to be awarded, as his ruling dealt only with the preliminary issue of the level of damages to be awarded to Mr Barrymore, who brought the action in his real name, Michael Ciaran Parker.
Essex Police admitted its arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to suspect that Mr Barrymore was guilty.The force had claimed Mr Barrymore should receive only nominal damages.But Mr Justice Stuart-Smith ruled the defendant – the Chief Constable of Essex Police Stephen Kavanagh – “has failed to prove that, if not arrested unlawfully as he was, Mr Parker could and would have been arrested lawfully”.He added: “Mr Parker is entitled to recover more than nominal damages.”
Source: BBC Essex