Former TV entertainer Michael Barrymore deserves substantial damages from police for being wrongfully arrested ten years ago, which caused his career to be “destroyed”, his lawyer has told the High Court.

Barrymore, 65, was arrested and detained back in June 2007 on suspicion of the rape and murder of 31 year old Stuart Lubbock, who was found dead in the swimming pool at the entertainer’s home in Roydon six years previously.

Post-mortem tests in 2001 found that Lubbock had suffered severe internal injuries indicating sexual assault, and his bloodstream contained ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol. Six years later, the emergence of new evidence caused police to arrest Barrymore and two other men, who were later released without charge. The arrest was since admitted as wrongful, and Barrymore is suing Essex Police for £2.5 million.

Michael BarrymoreMichael Barrymore pictured in 2013

Police have previously admitted that the arresting officer in the case had not been properly briefed and did not have reasonable grounds to suspect that the comedian and presenter was guilty. However, defending themselves, they argue that Barrymore could have been lawfully arrested by another officer, so he is entitled to nominal damages only.

Barrymore himself was present at London’s High Court on Monday (May 22nd) to hear his counsel, Hugh Tomlinson QC, tell the court that his client “made it clear he did not kill or assault Mr Lubbock.”

Mr Tomlinson 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.”

The hearing continues.

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