Michael Barrymore wins police payment over wrongful arrest

Michael Barrymore wins police payment over wrongful arrest”

Michael Barrymore is entitled to "more than nominal" damages against Essex Police over his wrongful arrest that come as the officer who was intending to detain him was stuck in traffic, a High Court judge has ruled.

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.

Essex Police had admitted that the arrest was unlawful, as the arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to suspect that Barrymore was guilty.

News reports that Barrymore, whose real name is Michael Parker, was not present for today's High Court decision in London.

PA Archive  PA Images
PA Archive PA Images

As a result, said Mr Justice Stuart-Smith, the arrest was unlawful and Mr Barrymore was therefore "entitled to recover more than nominal damages".

Essex Police have defended the arrest in a statement released after the judgement this morning (August 18), saying they had "reasonable grounds to suspect Barrymore had raped or murdered Mr Lubbock".

An inquest recorded an open verdict in 2002, where experts told the hearing that Lubbock had suffered severe internal injuries and may have been the victim of sexual assault.

The ruling dealt only with the level of damages - not a specific sum - to be... No one has yet been brought to justice over the death.

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"Essex Police remain committed to establishing what happened". A figure for the damages to be paid to Barrymore will be set at a further hearing.

Barrymore was a hugely successful TV comic and presenter, fronting extremely popular shows such as "Strike It Lucky" and "My Kind of People" in the eighties and nineties.

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

But Essex police said he should only receive a nominal £1 payout.

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"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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