Michael Barrymore wins payout over wrongful arrest
Entertainer Michael Barrymore is entitled to "more than nominal" damages against Essex Police over the wrongful arrest which he says destroyed his career, a High Court judge has ruled.
The comedian and TV presenter was arrested and detained in June 2007 on suspicion of the rape and murder of 31-year-old Stuart Lubbock, who was found in the swimming pool at his Roydon home six years earlier.
Mr Justice Stuart-Smith, sitting in London on Friday, ruled against the force, which had argued that Mr Barrymore should only receive a nominal payout.
Mr Barrymore, 65, who was not present for the decision, values his claim at more than £2.4 million.
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 had admitted the arrest was unlawful, as the arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to suspect that Mr Barrymore was guilty.
Mr Justice Stuart-Smith ruled that the defendant - the Chief Constable of Essex Police - "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."
Belfast Telegraph Digital