A judge has quashed an appeal by Essex Police against the finding entertainer Michael Barrymore is entitled to “more than nominal” damages over his wrongful arrest.

Mr Barrymore says his career was destroyed when he was arrested in 2007 over the death of Stuart Lubbock, who was found in the swimming pool of the presenter’s Roydon home after a 2001 party.

Despite an appeal by the force, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith decided at the High Court on Wednesday (October 4), to uphold the ruling Mr Barrymore was entitled to substantial compensation.

The court had previously ruled against Essex Police in August, which had argued the comedian should only receive a nominal payout.

Mr Barrymore, 65, values his claim against the force at more than £2.4 million after it conceded last year it was wrong to detain him on suspicion of rape and murder over Mr Lubbock’s death.

Essex Police admitted the arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to suspect the entertainer was guilty.

The judge has not been concerned with the sum to be awarded but the preliminary issue of the level of damages.

At a hearing earlier this year, Hugh Tomlinson QC said 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.

He told the judge that Barrymore remained convinced that Mr Lubbock's injuries were not caused at his home but he did not know what had happened.

He added: "This arrest was made without any proper evidential foundation.

"However, the fact that it had happened, and the worldwide publicity it received, destroyed the claimant's career."

Mr Lubbock's body was found in the pool after a party where drugs and alcohol were consumed.

A post-mortem examination later revealed that he had suffered serious anal injuries.

In 2002, an open verdict was recorded at the inquest into his death, the same year Mr Barrymore lost the lucrative contract he has held with ITV.

In August the judge ruled that the defendant, the Chief Constable of Essex Police, had failed to prove that, if not arrested unlawfully as he was, Barrymore "could and would have been arrested lawfully".

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 Barrymore lawfully, and she was not present.

The police can still pursue the application directly with the Court of Appeal.