Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Michael Barrymore set to win long legal battle over police who wrongly arrested him over 2001 pool death at his home

Michael Barrymore is poised to claim a legal victory over police who wrongly arrested him for the murder of a man found drowned in the entertainer’s swimming pool in 2001.

Barrymore, now 64, said a ‘massive’ weight had been lifted from his shoulders after a police force reportedly admitted he was wrongfully detained and questioned for murder.

The comedian has endured years in the wilderness after Stuart Lubbock, a father-of-two, was found dead at his £2million home in Roydon, Essex.

A post-mortem examination found that Mr Lubbock had suffered ‘severe internal injuries indicating sexual assault’, and his blood contained ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol.

Barrymore was kept in police cells for 36 hours after being arrested on suspicion of murder and sexual assault in 2007.

He was released without charge and three months later the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Barrymore has always maintained his innocence.

However, Essex Police previously claimed that he was with-holding information. The force said that the TV personality had ‘failed to give a full or clear account’ about what happened on the night of Mr Lubbock’s death.

However, according to the Daily Mirror, Barrymore’s lawyers have now signed High Court papers in an agreement with Essex Police.

The papers reportedly read: ‘Judgment be entered for the Claimant [Barrymore] on the issue of liability.’

The ruling means Barrymore can now make a claim for damages and it could pave the way for a major TV comeback.

Barrymore has recently alluded to the end of the lengthy legal battle telling social media users that he was preparing for a ‘big week’ and ‘Mission Impossible has been a complete success’.

When asked by a Twitter follower if he was likely to return to television he responded: ‘I have turned down all offers for a few years now till this was done and dusted… looks like I will be able to.’

He later wrote that he ‘got news that’s taken 15 years to get to’, saying: ‘Be interesting if all those that chose to believe one thing find they got it wrong and apologise… mmm, we’ll see.’

He told fans he would ‘comment properly when the times right’ adding that it was a ‘massive’ weight off his shoulders.

On the night of Mr Lubbock’s death, the comedian had spent the evening at a club in Harlow, Essex, with his then boyfriend, Jonathan Kenney.

He later invited locals back to his home and at 5.46am guest, Justin Merritt, dialled 999 to say a man had drowned in the pool. Barrymore had already fled the scene, later claiming he ‘panicked’.

It is claimed that Barrymore is demanding at least £25,000 ‘aggravated and exemplary damages’ for ‘wrongful arrest and detention’ which led him to suffer ‘loss and damage namely distress, shock, anxiety and damage to his reputation’.

Barrymore had previously been a household name with programmes such as Strike It Lucky and Kids Say The Funniest Things earned him £2.5million a year with ITV.

However the multi-million pound deals quickly began to disappear following the death of Mr Lubbock.

The star lodged the claim form three years ago, saying police had no right to arrest him because there was no evidence of his involvement in the death

Mr Lubbock’s father, Terry, 71, who has campaigned for justice for his son, told The Mirror: ‘This is not closure or justice for me. That will not come until I find out what really happened to my son. Where did those injuries come from? Stuart didn’t inflict them on himself.’

A spokesperson for Essex Police last night said: ‘We have no comment to make at this time.’

Original report here

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