Father of man found dead in Michael Barrymore’s pool presses for fresh inquest

The father of a man found dead in Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool nearly 20 years ago wants a coroner to oversee a new inquest.

Terry Lubbock, whose 31-year-old son Stuart was found in a swimming pool following a party at Mr Barrymore’s then-home in Roydon, Essex, on March 31 2001, thinks information must have emerged which justifies a fresh inquiry by a coroner.

A coroner recorded an open verdict after an inquest in 2002 and two years ago the then-attorney general, Jeremy Wright, refused to give Mr Lubbock the go-ahead to make an application to the High Court for a second inquest.

Terry Lubbock
Terry Lubbock says he thinks a new inquest is justified (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

But Mr Lubbock says a fresh Essex Police appeal, which coincided with the broadcast of a Channel 4 documentary Barrymore: The Body In The Pool earlier this year, has changed the landscape.

A senior detective told reporters in February that he believed Stuart Lubbock had been raped and murdered and that “one or more” of the party-goers was responsible for “that serious sexual assault”.

Mr Lubbock says he would like 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.”

He said: “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 had yet to formally ask Attorney General Suella Braverman to give the go-ahead for a new inquest application to be made to the High Court.

He added: “I want justice for my son.

“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.”

Stuart Lubbock death
Michael Barrymore described the Channel 4 documentary as ‘vile and vicious’ (Gareth Fuller/PA)

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

Mr Barrymore, now 68, was arrested in 2007 but never charged with any offence.

He subsequently sued Essex Police, and claimed a wrongful arrest had cost him about £2.5 million in lost earnings, but Court of Appeal judges concluded that he should get nominal damages.

In March, Mr Barrymore spoke to ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme and described the Channel 4 documentary as “vile and vicious”.

Mr Barrymore said nobody who was at his house on the night of Stuart Lubbock’s death knew what happened.

Asked if he had anything fresh to offer the police, he replied: “I honestly wish I did.”

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

Essex Police say the investigation continues.

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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