Barrymore pool death case re-opened

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Essex police have announced that they are reviewing the death of a man who was found dead in the swimming pool of the openly gay television personality Michael Barrymore.

Stuart Lubbock, 31, was pronounced dead in hospital the morning after a party at Mr Barrymore’s home in March 2001. During the inquest that followed, an open verdict was reached and to date no-one has been charged in connection with Mr Lubbock’s death.

A police spokeswoman said that it was possible that officer may re-interview Mr Barrymore but stressed that the re-opened enquiry was at a very early stage. “We have begun a routine review of the inquiry and that is at a very early stage. A team of officers will look at the file and everything that has happened since,” she said.

The Essex Police Investigative Review Team, comprising of retired officers will carry out the inquiry.

Early this year, a former solicitor attempted to initiate a private prosecution against Mr Barrymore alleging drug misuse, disorderly behaviour and assault but the attempt was blocked. The district judge said that there was a lack of evidence to proceed.

Mr Lubbock’s father Terry said: “There were at least eight people present on the night he died and somebody knows why he died and what happened to him. All I want to know is the truth about what happened to my son and why he died and I would urge someone to have the courage to come forward and tell the truth.”

In a statement, Mr Barrymore who was a finalist in this year’s Celebrity Big Brother said: “I welcome the news that the case is to be reviewed. I have always maintained that I would do all I can to help both the police and the Lubbock family.

“I also told Terry Lubbock, when I met with him earlier this year, that I would do anything to help him bring this case to an end.”

Mr Barrymore was previously issued with a police caution for drugs offences by officers conducting the initial investigation into Mr Lubbock’s death.