Michael Barrymore: Father of man found dead in star’s pool calls for new inquest

The father of a man found dead in Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool nearly two decades ago has called for a new inquest to be opened.

Stuart Lubbock, 31, was discovered in the TV presenter’s pool on 31 March 2001 after a party at his then home in Roydon, Essex.

His father, Terry Lubbock, thinks information that emerged following a fresh police appeal that coincided with the broadcast of a Channel 4 documentary in February called Barrymore: The Body In The Pool, has brought new information that justifies a fresh inquest.

An open verdict was returned following a 2002 inquest and two years ago, the attorney general at the time, Jeremy Wright, refused to give Mr Lubbock permission to apply to the High Court for a second hearing.

However, following the documentary, a senior Essex Police detective told reporters he believed Stuart had been raped and murdered and “one or more” of the party-goers was responsible for “that serious sexual assault”.

Mr Lubbock said he wants police to tell an inquest jury why they believe that.

“I was hoping that the police would make progress and finally find an answer as a result of the documentary,” said Mr Lubbock, 76, of Harlow, Essex.

“But nearly a year has passed and I’ve been disappointed. Nevertheless, I think a new inquest is now justified.

“I think that the documentary, police appeal and investigation must have produced information which might lead to a different verdict.

“The police have said that they think somebody raped and killed my son. I’d like to hear them tell an inquest jury why they think that.

“I’d also like to see the people who were at the party questioned again at an inquest.”

Mr Lubbock said lawyers have not yet formally asked Attorney General Suella Braverman to give permission for a new inquest application to the High Court.

“I want justice for my son,” he said.

“That’s all I live for now, and as long as I live I’ll keep fighting for Stuart.

“The police investigation hasn’t produced the answers I’d hoped for, so my focus now is on getting a new inquest.”

No one has ever been charged with any offence in relation to Stuart Lubbock’s death.

Barrymore, now 68, was arrested in 2007 but never charged.

He then sued Essex Police, claiming a wrongful arrest cost him about £2.5 million in lost earnings, but Court of Appeal judges determined he should get nominal damages.

In March, Barrymore described the Channel 4 documentary as “vile and vicious” and said nobody at the house the night Stuart died knew what happened.

Asked if he had any new information for police, he said: “I honestly wish I did.”

He said he had been “through 20 years of hell”.

Essex Police said the investigation remains open.

Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings said: “We remain committed to this investigation and continue to appeal for information leading to arrest and conviction in relation to the rape and murder of Stuart Lubbock.

“Nine people went to the party at Michael Barrymore’s house, but only one of them – Stuart – ended up being violently sexually assaulted and murdered.

“We know not everyone at that party was responsible for what happened, but someone was. We also know that not everyone at that party may know what happened, but someone does.

“We want the people who do have information to come forward and talk to us – it is never too late to do the right thing.”

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