ENTERTAINMENT

Michael Barrymore Could Receive Millions In Damages Against Police Over Wrongful Arrest In Connection With Stuart Lubbock’s Death

A High Court judge has ruled the former TV star is entitled to recover more than a 'nominal sum'.

18/08/2017 12:07 BST

Michael Barrymore is entitled to more than nominal damages against Essex Police following his wrongful arrest in connection with the death of Stuart Lubbock at his home in 2001.

The TV star was detained in 2007, six years after the body of the 31-year-old was discovered in the swimming pool of Barrymore’s home in Lubbock, Essex.

The 65-year-old former ‘Strike It Lucky’ host - once one of the highest paid stars on TV - was not present for the High Court’s decision.

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Michael Barrymore

A figure for the damages to be paid to Barrymore - whose real name is Michael Parker - is yet to be set, but could run into millions of pounds.

The star valued his own claim at more than £2.4million, after claiming his arrest destroyed his career.

Mr Justice Stuart-Smith ruled against Essex Police, which had argued Mr Barrymore should only receive a nominal payout.

Essex Police admitted its arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to suspect that Mr Barrymore was guilty.

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Stuart Lubbock

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.”

In a statement issued after the hearing, Essex Police said: “Today’s judgement must not overshadow the questions which are still unanswered for Mr Lubbock’s family and friends.

“Sixteen years on they still need to know what happened to Stuart on that night, how he was injured, and who is responsible for his death.

“A small number of people know the answers to those questions and over the years loyalties change and somebody may want to help us at this time.”

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Stuart Lubbock’s body was found following a party at Barrymore’s luxury home, where drugs and alcohol had been consumed.

A post mortem examination revealed that Stuart had suffered serious internal injuries. In 2002, an open verdict was recorded at the inquest into his death.

However, in May 2007, a forensic pathologist instructed by Essex Police said he did not consider there to be “any possible benign or accidental explanation” for the nature and extent of the injuries.

In a hearing in May of this year Barrymore’s lawyer, Hugh Tomlinson QC, said that there was “no evidence whatever” of rape and the cause of Mr Lubbock’s death could not be ascertained.