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Michael Barrymore to receive damages over wrongful rape and murder arrest

The former TV presenter was arrested in 2007 on suspicion of the rape and murder of Stuart Lubbock.

Michael Barrymore outside the High Court in London in May
Michael Barrymore outside the High Court in London in May
Image: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images

MICHAEL BARRYMORE IS to get “more than nominal damages” after claiming a wrongful arrest ended his career.

The former TV presenter was arrested 10 years ago on suspicion of the rape and murder of Stuart Lubbock (31) at his house in Essex in 2001.

BBC News reports that Barrymore, whose real name is Michael Parker, was not present for today’s High Court decision in London. He values his claim at more than £2.4 million (about €2.6 million).

Mr Justice Stuart-Smith ruled against the police force, which had argued that Barrymore should only receive a nominal payout. A figure for the damages to be paid to Barrymore will be set at a further hearing.

Barrymore’s popularity was at its peak in the 1980s and 1990s. He presented a number of shows including Strike It Lucky, My Kind of People and Kids Say the Funniest Things.

‘Unanswered questions’

Essex Police said today’s judgement made it clear that the officers leading the investigation into Lubbock’s death had “reasonable grounds to suspect Mr Parker had raped or murdered Mr Lubbock at his home address and had reasonable grounds for believing that it was necessary to arrest him”.

The statement continues: “The judgement also states there was clear evidence of a violent penetrating assault which may have been rape and that Mr Parker was one of a small and closed group of people who could have committed the assault.

Unfortunately the designated arresting officer who did have the required knowledge to make a lawful arrest was stuck in traffic when Mr Parker was seen on June 14, 2007. For operational reasons it was not desirable to postpone the arrest which was coordinated with the arrest of two other suspects. It is agreed that the surveillance officer who arrested Mr Parker did not have the required grounds for suspicion in his mind and therefore the arrest was unlawful.

Essex Police said today’s judgement “must not overshadow the questions which are still unanswered for Mr Lubbock’s family and friends”.

“Sixteen years on they still need to know what happened to Stuart on that night, how he was injured, and who is responsible for his death. A small number of people know the answers to those questions and over the years loyalties change and somebody may want to help us at this time. Essex Police remain committed to establishing what happened.”

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings.

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Órla Ryan

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