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12 December 2018, 15:25 | Updated: 12 December 2018, 15:35
Essex Police have won a challenge against a decision paving the way for entertainer Michael Barrymore to receive substantial damages over his wrongful arrest in 2007 that he says destroyed his career.
The comedian and TV presenter values his claim against Essex Police at more than £2.4 million.
But today at the Court of Appeal in London, three judges ruled in favour of the force on the level of compensation he is entitled to, declaring Barrymore "is entitled to nominal damages only".
The force has argued the 66-year-old Barrymore should only get a "nominal" payout and challenged a High Court ruling made in August last year that he was entitled to "more than nominal" damages.
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.
The force argued that if Barrymore is entitled to substantial damages it would have wide-reaching implications for the police service and other organisations facing similar claims, particularly from wealthy or famous individuals.
No decision has yet been made on the sum he will eventually receive.
Essex Polcie have released the following statement today:
"The suspicious circumstances in which Stuart Lubbock’s body was found in Mr Parker’s swimming pool in 2001 remain unexplained and our thoughts today are with Mr Lubbock’s family who have been through so much.
The investigation in to Stuart’s death has not closed.
Time can change old loyalties and detectives are ready and waiting to hear from anyone with information that could progress the investigation.
This hearing has affirmed three important matters:
That Essex Police detectives were right to suspect that Mr Parker was one of only three people who could have been responsible for the injuries Mr Lubbock suffered;
That there were reasonable grounds to arrest Mr Parker in 2007 on suspicion of murder and rape;
And that arresting Mr Parker at the same time as two other suspects might have led to a breakthrough in the case.
The Court of Appeal has today confirmed that had a different procedure been followed on June 14, 2007, the arrest of Mr Parker would have been lawful and have declared that only nominal damages are paid by the force. Essex Police will be seeking from Mr Parker its legal costs, including the costs of the appeal."