Michael Barrymore ‘should get substantial damages’ after wrongful arrest

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Michael Barrymore could receive a multi-million-pound payout if he wins a lawsuit against Essex Police.

The former TV presenter and comedian is suing the police force for being wrongfully arrested in 2007 in relation to the death of Stuart Lubbock.

The entertainer, who is suing for £2.5m, “should get substantial damages”, his lawyer has told the High Court.

Michael Barrymore

Police have already admitted the arrest was unlawful as the officer had not been fully briefed.

However they claim Mr Barrymore could have been lawfully detained by another officer instead.

Mr Lubbock was found floating in the pool of the gay entertainer’s pool in Essex, outside London, in 2001.

Post-mortem tests found the 31-year-old had suffered severe internal injuries indicating sexual assault.

His bloodstream contained ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol at the time of death.

Mr Barrymore was arrested six years later, after he relaunched his career with an appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, when he came second.

After the arrest, along with two others, he was released without charge.

Hugh Tomlinson QC, representing Mr Barrymore, says his client had “made it clear he did not kill or assault Mr Lubbock”.

Mr Tomlindon said: “Although he was arrested, he was never charged with any offence and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) subsequently made it crystal clear there was no basis for any charges.

“Our case is that when speculation, rumour and conjecture are put to one side, it is clear there is no evidence against the claimant in relation to any offence concerning Mr Lubbock.”

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.”

Barrymore was last seen on TV in 2014 in a celebrity special of The Jeremy Kyle Show, where he opened up about struggling with drugs and his mental health.

The gay former game show host and comedian said: “I’ve been taken off to the hospital a couple of times”, referring to his suicide attempts.

He said his use of alcohol and drugs stemmed from keeping his sexual orientation hidden while married to his wife.

“I don’t think it noticed too much at the beginning because we both drank, obviously I drank more,” he said.

“I think we maybe drank the same sometimes but she controlled it better.

“I was her husband, her lover, her child and her career all wrapped up into one, 24/7 and that’s a lot of pressure on both and I don’t knock it because I think she was a major part of my success.

“I loved her to death despite what people write or have written in the past about what our relationship was about.”

He added: “If I hadn’t (come out) I truly believe I would have died, because I believe that my drinking and my (drug) using was getting worse because of it.”