Entertainment

Friday 23 August 2019

Michael Barrymore drops wrongful arrest claim against Essex Police

The entertainer was seeking compensation after being held during the investigation into the death of Stuart Lubbock at his home.

Michael Barrymore has dropped his claim against Essex Police (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Michael Barrymore has dropped his claim against Essex Police (Gareth Fuller/PA)

By Brian Farmer, PA

Entertainer Michael Barrymore has agreed to halt a compensation claim after being arrested during an investigation into the death of a man at his home, police have said.

The 67-year-old, who was investigated following the death of Stuart Lubbock 18 years ago, had sued Essex Police and claimed that a wrongful arrest had damaged his career.

But Court of Appeal judges concluded that he would be entitled to only “nominal” damages.

An Essex Police spokeswoman said on Monday that Barrymore’s claim had now been discontinued by agreement.

She said the force had not made any payment to the entertainer.

Neither Barrymore, nor a lawyer who represented him, was available for comment.

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Stuart Lubbock’s father Terry said he is still determined to get justice for his son (Steve Parsons/PA)

Mr Lubbock’s father, Terry, 74, said: “That’s brilliant news. I’m raising my arms.

“I am still determined to get justice for Stuart. He was only 31 when he died. I am determined to hang on to the end for him.”

Essex Police announced the latest development in a statement, which referred to Barrymore by his real name, Michael Parker.

“Following a ruling made by the Court of Appeal in December 2018, and upon agreement having been reached by the parties, the High Court has ordered (by consent) that Mr Parker discontinues the entirety of his claim and all associated issues against the Chief Constable of Essex Police and that each party will bear its own costs in the proceedings,” said the statement.

We welcome the conclusion of this litigation Essex Police

“Essex Police has not made and will not make any payment to Michael Parker.

“We welcome the conclusion of this litigation.”

The statement added: “At the heart of this case remains the fact that the family of Stuart Lubbock continue to live with the pain of the unanswered questions surrounding his death on March 31 2001.

“We continue to search for justice for Stuart’s family and would ask anyone who has information about his death to call us on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. It is never too late to do the right thing.”

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Stuart Lubbock was found dead in the pool at MIchael Barrymore’s home in 2001 (Essex Police/PA)

Mr Lubbock, a butcher from Harlow, Essex, was found dead after a party at Barrymore’s house in Roydon, Essex, in March 2001.

Barrymore took legal action against Essex Police as a result of being held and questioned.

He had been arrested in 2007, six years after Mr Lubbock’s death.

Barrymore was never charged with any offence.

The entertainer said the arrest had received widespread publicity and had a “devastating” effect on his career.

Detail of Barrymore’s claim had been outlined at court hearings.

He had valued his claim more than £2.4 million because of lost earnings.

Essex Police argued that he was entitled to only a “nominal” payout, and appeal judges ruled in favour of the force.

Barrymore had launched a damages claim after being arrested on suspicion of the rape and murder of Mr Lubbock.

He had claimed wrongful arrest and false imprisonment under 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 Barrymore was guilty of any offence.

PA Media

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