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October 13, 2005

Man guilty of false Barrymore claims

From: Scotsman - United Kingdom - Oct 13, 2005


A FANTASIST was found guilty yesterday of falsely accusing the entertainer Michael Barrymore of sexual assault.

Lee O'Brien, now 23, visited Barrymore's Essex home in December 2001 to give him flowers, Liverpool Crown Court was told. Barrymore invited him in, gave him a coffee and the mobile phone number of his personal assistant so that O'Brien could arrange for tickets to one of his TV shows.

The meeting, which lasted ten to 15 minutes and was uneventful, was witnessed by a member of Barrymore's staff.

Ten months later, O'Brien, who is deaf and from Liverpool, contacted police and claimed that Barrymore had forced him to smoke cannabis before taking him to the bathroom and indecently assaulting him. The jury disagreed.

During the six-week trial, the court heard that despite his claiming that he was assaulted in 2001, O'Brien went to two Barrymore shows being filmed in January 2002.

O'Brien was bailed and sentencing was deferred until 1 December.