Suspect in murder of Stuart Lubbock at Michael Barrymore’s home could face charges ‘imminently’

Michael Barrymore (left) and Stuart Lubbock (right)

A suspect in the murder of Stuart Lubbock, who died after being found unconscious in Michael Barrymore’s pool in 2001, could be charged after police submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Lubbock, 31, was pronounced dead in hospital after he was found in Barrymore’s swimming pool at his mansion in Roydon, Essex, following a party with eight other guests in March, 2001.

In March this year, Essex police said detectives had “arrested a 50-year-old man in connection with the indecent assault and murder of Stuart Lubbock”, but the unidentified man was later released on bail “while detectives continue their enquiries”. 

Now, the police force has said they will be submitting the case to CPS, who will then decide whether the man can be charged.

A spokesperson for the force told the BBC: “Following our substantial and detailed investigation, we will imminently be submitting a file to the CPS for their consideration and decision.”

Lubbock’s death was initially ruled an accidental drowning, but this was changed to murder after a post-mortem revealed he had sustained “horrific anal injuries”, indicating that the he had been sexually assaulted. Cocaine, alcohol and ecstasy were also found in his system.

The unidentified 50-year-old’s arrest came after police said they had discovered “new information” relating to the case, after offered a £20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

At the time of the arrest, detective superintendent Lucy Morris of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said in a statement: “As we stated last February – and have continually stated over the last 20 years – we believe someone, or some people, at that party know what happened.

“It is important to re-state the fact that Essex Police has never given up on this case and that the force is motivated by the desire to deliver justice for Mr Lubbock and his family.”

In 2007, Barrymore, his ex-partner Jonathan Kenny and party guest Justin Merritt were all arrested on suspicion of the murder and sexual assault of Lubbock, but were later released without charge.

Barrymore, 69, has always denied any involvement in Lubbock’s death.