Michael Barrymore has lost a court appeal that would have allowed him to claim up to £2.4million from Essex Police for wrongful arrest.
The entertainer was detained in 2007 on suspicion of the rape and murder of Stuart Lubock, 31, who was found dead in the pool at his Roydon home after a drug-fuelled party in 2001.
He claims the move destroyed his career and wanted to seek compensation for loss of earnings from Essex Police.
Last year, the High Court ruled that he was entitled to ‘more than nominal damages’, paving the way for him to levy his £2.4million claim.
However, today’s Court of Appeal hearing went in favour of the force, which argued he should receive only a nominal payment of £1.
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Mr Barrymore was arrested and detained in June 2007 on suspicion of rape and murder
Essex Police did concede that his arrest was unlawful because the arresting officer didn’t have reasonable grounds to suspect Barrymore.
However, it argued that granting Barrymore substantial damages would have long-term implications for police investigating other wealthy or famous individuals.
Mr Barrymore, who brought his legal action against the police for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment under his real name, Michael Ciaran Parker.
Last month, Lord Faulks QC, for the Chief Constable of Essex Police, told the court that High Court judge, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith, had "erred" in his approach to the law.
Lord Faulks said that, although the focus of the appeal was on Essex Police and Mr Barrymore, "we should not lose sight of the fact that a young man died".
He added: "His family, as well as their distress at this young man’s death, have never obtained a true explanation for it."
At the High Court, the force submitted Mr Barrymore could have been lawfully arrested by another officer, meaning that only an award of nominal damages should be made, rather than the "substantial" sum sought by the star.
But Mr Justice Stuart-Smith ruled that the defendant, the Chief Constable, had failed to prove that, if not arrested unlawfully as he was, Mr Barrymore "could and would have been arrested lawfully".
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His lifeless body was found in the swimming pool
(Image: Daily Mirror)
He said there was "information available to the police that could have provided an arresting officer with reasonable grounds for a lawful arrest".
But there was only one designated arresting officer who had sufficient information and had been sufficiently briefed to enable her to arrest him lawfully, and she was not present.
Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Mr Barrymore, had told the High Court judge that Mr Barrymore was never charged with any offence and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) later made it "crystal clear" that there was no basis for any charges.
(Image: Daily Mirror)
In written argument before the Court of Appeal, Mr Tomlinson submits that they should dismiss the appeal.
He argues that the High Court judge "should have held that the defendant had not established that any police officer had reasonable grounds for believing that it was necessary" to arrest Mr Barrymore.
An open verdict was recorded at a 2002 inquest into Mr Lubbock’s death.
He was found in the pool with serious anal injuries.
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