Essex Police win appeal over Michael Barrymore’s damages claim

Three judges have ruled in favour of Essex Police that Michael Barrymore is "entitled to nominal da

Three judges have ruled in favour of Essex Police that Michael Barrymore is "entitled to nominal damages only" over the wrongful arrest he says destroyed his career. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

Essex Police has successfully appealed a decision which would have opened the way for entertainer Michael Barrymore to receive substantial damages over the wrongful arrest he says destroyed his career.

Three judges sitting at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday ruled in favour of Essex Police over the level of compensation the comedian and television presenter is entitled to.

Mr Barrymore, who was not present at the hearing, values his claim against the force at more than £2.4million in lost earnings.

Essex Police argued that Mr Barrymore, 66, was entitled to only a “nominal” payout and challenged a High Court ruling in August last year that he was entitled to more.

The appeal by the Chief Constable of Essex Police was allowed by Sir Brian Leveson, Lady Justice Hallett and Sir Ernest Ryder.


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Sir Brian declared Barrymore “is entitled to nominal damages only”.

The star launched a High Court damages action after he 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 home in Roydon, Essex, six years earlier.

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Mr Barrymore brought his legal action against the police for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment under his real name Michael Ciaran Parker.

No decision has been made on the sum he will eventually receive as the litigation has so far centred on whether the amount should be nominal or substantial.

Essex Police admitted the arrest was unlawful as the arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to suspect Barrymore was guilty of any offence.

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