BARRYMORE POOL DEATH: Stuart Lubbock's dad says fight for the truth of what happened has nearly
THE father of a man found dead with horrific internal injuries at Michael Barrymore's home nearly 19 years ago said fighting for the truth about the unexplained death has almost killed him. Stuart Lubbock, 31, died at Barrymore's home in Roydon, Essex, in the early hours of March 31 2001 and the post mortem examination showed he had significant anal injuries, that "appeared consistent with recent penetration by a firm object."
It comes as the detective who is heading fresh review of the case said he believes that Mr Lubbock was raped and murdered. An inquest held in 2002 recorded an open verdict and previous Essex Police investigations, which were botched at the outset, never led to any charges. Dad, Terry Lubbock, 75, who lives in a care home in Harlow, Essex, just a few miles from where it happened, has been fighting for the truth ever since, and hopes the new police review could lead to the answers.
After new details emerged in the High Court, and in the production of a new Channel 4 documentary about the case, he also hopes it could help secure another inquest. Essex Police is due to make a fresh appeal for information on Tuesday two days before the programme is shown.
REVIEW: DCI Stephen Jennings believes Mr Lubbock was raped and murdered (Essex Police)
DCI Stephen Jennings, who is leading the review, told Channel 4: "I believe very much that Stuart Lubbock was raped and murdered that night."
He said the original investigation was flawed as it was treated just as an accidental drowning and people were allowed back to the scene where items that had been photgraphed went missing.
Mr Jennings said: "After we’d managed to photograph the scene, items have gone missing and we’ve never seized them."
A swimming pool thermometer and door handle which were in the images were removed, so have never been tested for any contact with Stuart.
GRIEF: Terry Lubbock says his campaign for the truth has affected his health (EN&I)
Mr Lubbock has suffered four strokes and is being treated for prostrate cancer and belives the stress of trying to get to the truth of his son's death caused this. He said: "I want the truth and I want justice. "I have had four strokes and got cancer. It has done this to me, I can hardly walk. "I used to believe in this country, but I just feel let down by the justice system, by the police, the High Court, and Barrymore (pictured top) because he could tell us what happened."
UNSOLVED: Stuart Lubbock's unexplained death remains under investigation (Essex Police)
Stuart, who was heterosexual and unknown to Barrymore before the night, had gone back to the entertainer's home after meeting him in the Millenium club in Harlow earlier in the evening.
Aside from Mr Barrymore's partner at the time, Jonathan Kenney, seven people, including Mr Lubbock, were invited back to a party. Tests showed Stuart had cocaine, amphetamines and alcohol in his system. Barrymore suggested through the investigation that Stuart's anal injuries could have been caused after his death during medical examinations. In 2018 Barrymore tried to sue Essex Police for £2.4 million for wrongful arrest in 2007, amid claims it destroyed his highly-paid TV career. Although he won the claim, based on a technicality concerning who arrested him, High Court judges awarded him just nominal damges as there had been grounds to arrest him. In their judgement they confirmed investigations had shown Barrymore's theory about the injuries to be wrong.
SUSPECT: Jonathan Kenney was also arrested and released without charge
The judgement said they "concluded that there was strong evidence that the anal injuries were sustained before the arrival of the emergency services." They were likley to be caused by a hard object, larger then the average penis, or by fisting, they recorded. Mr Lubbock was galled by Barrymore's recent returns to prime time TV. In an episode of Piers Morgan's Life Stories, shown last summer, Barrymore said he was sorry for what happened to Stuart at his house, but said he was 100 per cent innocent and wished he was able to help Mr Lubbock with answers. Barrymore was also in the first episode of Dancing on Ice this month, but pulled out due to injury. Mr Lubbock added: "I couldn't believe he was going back on TV, when he has still not explained what happened, but that is what he wants. "I think the whole injury thing was orchastrated because they knew the documentary was coming out."
PRIMETIME: Barrymore was one of the biggest names on TV in the 1990s
Barrymore: The Body In The Pool airs over 90 minutes on Thursday and producers say it was made with never before seen material from the case. The 999 call, reporting the discovery of the body and made by an unknown partygoer is played for the first time in the programme. Mr Lubbock added: "They have done a good job."The documentary is about the questions around what happened to my son, Stuart Lubbock. Finally. The story has become so distorted and confused over the years. So much has been said and written. "It's time to put all the facts together in one place." An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) probe which reported after the inquest found a string of failings in Essex Police's early handling of the investigation. Barrymore was seen rummaging through drawers and removing an object from his home, while others there tried to give Stuart CPR. He was also able to leave the scene for two hours before police caught up with him and Barrymore's then manager Mike Brown had time to "clean up the house" before police arrived.
During the High Court case in 2018 John Beggs, representing the force, said Barrymore "has never given a cogent explanation as how a young man was so seriously injured in a confined space with so few people present."
Barrymore's counsel Hugh Tomlinson, QC, said the performer had “great sympathy” for Mr Lubbock’s family and that he would do whatever he could to help find out what happened, but “he has also made it clear he did not kill or assault Mr Lubbock." An Essex Police spokeswoman said: “The investigation into Stuart’s death, and how he sustained such serious injuries is still open.
“We owe it to him and to his family to piece together exactly what happened in the swimming pool at Mr Barrymore’s home in March 2001. “Although it has been nearly 19-years since Stuart’s tragic death, the pain of his loss and not really knowing what happened to him is no less painful for his father and family – they still want and need answers. “The passing of time can mean that loyalties change and we would urge anyone who now wishes to come forward to us with information about Stuart’s death, to do so – it’s never to late."
Anyone with information can contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.Barrymore was unavailable for comment.