Michael Barrymore pool death: Man arrested over 2001 murder 

Michael Barrymore pool death: Man arrested over 2001 murder 

Michael Barrymore pool death: Man arrested over 2001 murder of Stuart Lubbock

Police officers investigating the indecent assault and murder of Stuart Lubbock at the home of entertainer Michael Barrymore 20 years ago have arrested a 50-year-old man in Cheshire. The move comes after “significant new information came to light,” said Essex Police Detective Superintendent Lucy Morris. 

Stuart Lubbock, 31, was discovered in Michael Barrymore’s pool on 31 March 2001 after a party at his then home in Roydon, Essex. Despite attempts to save him, he later died in hospital. 

On Wednesday morning, Essex Police said the man has been taken into custody for questioning – he has not been named. 

The force said he was arrested “in connection with the indecent assault and murder of Stuart Lubbock”.

Mr Lubbock’s father Terry, 76, described how he was feeling upon hearing the news. 

There is just so much going on in my head. I can’t get my head around it. Of course I’m happy. Of course this is good news. But it’s been 20 years. This has nearly killed me

A friend of the Lubbock family added: “I’m pleased. Of course this is progress. We can only hope it leads to justice for Stuart after all these years.”

Micheal Barrymore, now 68, was arrested over the death in 2007 and never charged.

Michael Barrymore pool death: Man arrested over 2001 murder
Michael Barrymore, pictured in 2001. Stuart Lubbock was found in Micheal Barrymore’s pool

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

His former partner Jonathan Kenny and fellow party guest Justin Merritt were also arrested in 2007 on suspicion of sexual assault and murder and were later released without charge.

In 2009, the police watchdog published the findings of a review of the investigation into Mr Lubbock’s death, concluding that officers missed crucial evidence and did not ensure vital forensic tests were completed until six years later.

Mr Lubbock was at the get-together with eight other people.

Michael Barrymore pool death: Man arrested over 2001 murder
Michael Barrymore pool party: Stuart Lubbock attended the party with eight other people

A post-mortem examination showed he had suffered severe internal injuries which suggested he had been sexually assaulted.

Alcohol, ecstasy and cocaine were found in his bloodstream.

Barrymore was criticised for leaving his home soon after Mr Lubbock was found floating in his outdoor pool. The entertainer also said he could not jump in and try to save Mr Lubbock because he could not swim, a claim disputed by others who knew the star. He also came under fire for failing to answer questions at Mr Lubbock’s inquest in 2002.

The coroner recorded an open verdict.

Barrymore’s television career collapsed in the wake of the allegations, although he enjoyed a brief return to the spotlight during a stint on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, last year saying: “I have had nothing to do with this whatsoever and yet I keep getting bashed and bullied by the media.”

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