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Monday 19th August 2019

Michael Barrymore awarded damages for wrongful arrest

Can he ever fully repair his life?

Michael Barrymore has been told he will received a hefty compensation ten years after he was wrongfully arrested.

Back in 2007, the TV funny was detained on suspicion of the rape and murder of a man called Stuart Lubbock, who was found in the swimming pool of his home after a party some six years before.

The case centred on whether Essex Police had reasonable grounds to lawfully arrest Mr Barrymore.

Michael says that his career was damaged by the wrongful arrest (Credit: RTE)

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While Mr Justice Stuart-Smith did agree that there was "information available to the police that could have provided an arresting officer with reasonable grounds for a lawful arrest" the officer who actually had sufficient information was caught up in traffic and therefore was not present at the time the entertainer was arrested.

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

Justice Stuart-Smith said the arrest was  therefore unlawful and Mr Barrymore was "entitled to recover more than nominal damages (Credit: RTE)

The worldwide publicity Michael's arrest received, destroyed his career.

In a previous  hearing Michael's lawyer had explained how the arrest at the time had affected Michael's life.

High Tomlinson QC argued that Mr Barrymore had never been charged with any offence and the CPS made it clear there was no basis for any charges.

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."

Justice Stuart-Smith said the arrest was unlawful and Mr Barrymore was "entitled to recover more than nominal damage (Credit: RTE)

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In a statement issued after the High Court hearing, Essex Police maintained that there are still questions that need answering.

"Today's judgement must not overshadow the questions which are still unanswered for Mr Lubbock's family and friends," they said.

"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."

Speaking in an interview on Irish TV's The Nolan Show several years ago, Michael admitted that the stress of the whole episode had made him hide himself away from the world and that he had tried to kill himself on a number of occasions.