The death of Stuart Lubbock: Michael Barrymore sues the police
Michael Barrymore is no, “alright”. The former stalwart of light entertainment TV is on the front page of the Mirror. He’s suing police over the matter of Stuart Lubbock’s death.
Father-of-two Stuart Lubbock, 31, died at Barrymore’s then home in Roydon, Essex in March 2001. His body was found in the swimming pool. Forensic reports suggested Mr Lubbock had been sexually assaulted. He had severe internal injuries.
At an inquest, the coroner recorded an open verdict. Pathologists said they could not be certain he had drowned.
No-one has been charged over Stuart Lubbock’s death.
Michael Barrymore was arrested. He was released without charge. The incident damaged his name. And now he’s seeking damages for “the harm to his reputation and money-spinning career which collapsed following the death of Stuart Lubbock”.
The paper harks back:
He had met Barrymore at a nightclub in Harlow, also in Essex, earlier that evening before going back to his house for an all-night party. Barrymore, 63, fled the scene after the death, later claiming he had panicked and wasn’t trying to hide.
The former Strike It Lucky host, who told Jeremy Kyle last year that he once tried to kill himself, controversially refused to answer any questions about the tragedy at an inquest, after taking legal advice.
The inquest heard traces of cocaine, ecstasy and alcohol were in the victim’s body.
In 2002 ITV failed to renew the entertainer’s £2million a year contract.
He moved to New Zealand, filed for bankruptcy after a £1million-plus tax demand and later tried to resurrect his career in Britain by appearing in Celebrity Big Brother in 2006.
Barrymore – whose real name is Michael Parker – was one of four men arrested on suspicion of serious sexual assault and murder in 2008 following a review of the police investigation, but all were later released without charge.
The BBC has a timeline:
March 2001: Stuart Lubbock died at Michael Barrymore’s former home in Roydon, Essex. Post-mortem tests found he had suffered severe internal injuries indicating sexual assault and his bloodstream contained ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol
October 2001: Following the police inquiry into Stuart Lubbock’s death, Michael Barrymore is given a caution for drugs offences and allowing his home to be used for smoking cannabis. No further charges are brought
February 2006: Mr Lubbock’s family are “blocked” from launching a private prosecution against the entertainer after a district judge rules there is insufficient evidence
June 2007: Mr Barrymore is arrested along with two other men on suspicion of serious sexual assault and murder, but in September the Crown Prosecution Service announces that Mr Barrymore will not face charges over the death of Mr Lubbock
February 2009: The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry upholds six of 36 complaints and allegations made by Stuart’s father, Terry Lubbock. The IPCC finds two pieces of evidence – a pool thermometer and a door handle – went missing after Stuart’s death
March 2011: Ten years after Mr Lubbock’s death, police make a new appeal for information on the case
Was justice blinded by the presence of a famous face?
What role did the media play?
The Daily Mail:
Mr Lubbock’s father Terry, 70, who campaigned for years for justice, is in poor health and living in a care home. He confirmed he had been informed by Essex Police that Barrymore has issued a writ against them in the High Court.
He said: ‘I am totally disgusted by this and I can’t believe the audacity of Barrymore. Perhaps one good thing will be if someone feels the same way I do and comes forward with new information about my son Stuart’s death. I will never give up fighting for justice for my son.’
Such are the facts.