Entertainer Michael Barrymore should get substantial damages from Essex Police over the wrongful arrest which destroyed his career, the High Court has heard.
Mr Barrymore, 65, 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 before.
Essex Police has now admitted the arrest was unlawful, as the arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to suspect that Mr Barrymore was guilty.
But it is contended that the comedian and TV presenter could have been lawfully arrested by another officer and that, as a result, he is only entitled to nominal damages.
Mr Barrymore’s claim is in excess of £2.4 million.
He was in court in London yesterday to hear his counsel, Hugh Tomlinson QC, say that he had “great sympathy” for Mr Lubbock’s family.
“He has also made it clear he did not kill or assault Mr Lubbock. 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.”