Michael Barrymore pool death ‘was MURDER’: Detective leading new probe says Stuart Lubbock was ‘raped and deliberately killed’ at TV star’s £2m home 18 years ago
- Stuart Lubbock found floating face-down in Barrymore’s swimming pool in 2001
- He had injuries which suggested he had been sexually assaulted before he died
- DCI Stephen Jennings has insisted that Mr Lubbock was ‘raped and murdered’
A detective has insisted that the death of Stuart Lubbock in TV star Michael Barrymore’s pool 18 years ago was murder.
Mr Lubbock, a factory supervisor, was found floating face-down in Barrymore’s swimming pool after being invited over for a party in 2001.
He had injuries which suggested he had been sexually assaulted but his death has never been fully solved.
A detective has insisted that the death of Stuart Lubbock (left) in TV star Michael Barrymore’s (right) pool 18 years ago was murder
Now, Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings has insisted that Mr Lubbock was ‘raped and murdered’ and is to make an appeal for witnesses and two key pieces of missing evidence.
DCI Jennings – the first new investigator assigned to the case in 13 years – told The Daily Star: ‘The scene was secured but not to the standard that we would expect, hence the reason that people were allowed back in there, and we know items have now gone missing.’
Many claim the investigation into Mr Lubbock’s death suffered multiple failings, with an inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission finding that two pieces of evidence – a pool thermometer and a door handle – went missing.
Mr Lubbock had injuries which suggested he had been sexually assaulted but his death has never been fully solved. Pictured: The swimming pool where he died
THE TIMELINE OF EVENTS FOLLOWING STUART LUBBOCK’S DEATH
MARCH 31, 2001: Stuart Lubbock is found floating in a pool at Barrymore’s then home in Roydon, Essex.
APRIL 2001: A post-mortem examination concludes the cause of death was drowning. Pathologists tell a hearing in Epping that traces of cocaine, ecstasy and alcohol were found in Mr Lubbock’s system.
JUNE 2001: Barrymore is quizzed a number of times during the course of the criminal investigation and spends a night in police custody in June after being arrested on drugs allegations arising from the inquiry.
SEPTEMBER 13, 2002: The coroner recorded an open verdict on the death Mr Lubbock.
NOVEMBER 2002: Barrymore’s lawyers successfully demanded that Essex Police re-investigate matters surrounding Mr Lubbock’s death.
JANUARY 2006: Barrymore makes a high-profile return to the UK in January 2006 to take part in Celebrity Big Brother.
DECEMBER 2006: Police announce they will reopen the investigation after Barrymore claims there were other witnesses to the events of the night.
JUNE 14, 2007: Barrymore, his ex-partner Jonathan Kenney and Justin Merritt are arrested on suspicion of serious sexual assault and murder.
JULY 31, 2007: It is announced that Barrymore had been re-bailed to appear at an Essex Police station on September 10.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2007: Barrymore answers bail and police are granted a further 12 hours to question him. Barrymore and the two other men are later released without charge.
JULY 2015: It is revealed Barrymore is suing Essex police because his arrest in 2007 ‘damaged his career’.
No one has ever been charged with Mr Lubbock’s murder after a post-mortem examination found he had suffered ‘severe internal injuries indicating sexual assault’.
The IPCC report said the missing items may have been used to rape the victim, while blood-stained boxer shorts from the scene were not properly examined.
His bloodstream contained ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol.
The coroner recorded an open verdict, leaving mystery hanging over Mr Lubbock’s death.
One expert, Professor Jack Crane, said that Stuart was ‘likely to have been forcibly restrained’ during the attack.
‘This could have been effected by obstruction of the mouth and nose, such as by suffocation, if the face had been compressed against bedding . . . the body could then have been put into the pool, perhaps either in an attempt to “revive” the deceased or to make the death appear as a simple case of drowning.’
Another expert disagreed, claiming the injuries could have happened in the hospital after Mr Lubbock’s death.
The former Strike It Lucky host was given a caution in October 2001 for drug offences but no further charges were brought.
Then in June 2007 he was arrested on suspicion of murder and sexual assault.
But three months later the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Mr Lubbock’s death dealt a huge blow to Barrymore’s career and as a result he demanded £2.4million in damages from police.
But the Appeal Court ruled he should only receive a ‘nominal’ award – possibly as little as £1.
A new Channel 4 documentary to air on Thursday will feature never-before-seen material from inside the unsolved Essex Police case.
It comes after Barrymore, 67, was forced to pull out of Dancing on Ice because of an injury.
Now, Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings has insisted that Mr Lubbock (right) was ‘raped and murdered’ and is to make an appeal for witnesses and two key pieces of missing evidence. It comes after Barrymore, 67, (left) was forced to pull out of Dancing on Ice because of an injury