MICHAEL Barrymore has been told to "come clean" about what he knows about the death of Stuart Lubbock at his Essex home nearly 19 years ago, as police have put up a £20,000 reward for information.
Stuart’s body was found next to the swimming pool of the home in Roydon, near Harlow, then occupied by TV personality Michael Barrymore, real name Michael Parker, on March 31 2001.
The 31-year-old had been attending a party at the property with eight other people.
Despite attempts to save him, he later died in hospital.
A post-mortem examination found Stuart had suffered horrific anal injuries which experts believe were the result of a serious sexual assault, possibly with a blunt object, that happened prior to Stuart’s death.
In the aftermath of the discovery of Stuart’s body some individuals, including Barrymore, left the property while others, who hadn’t been at the party, arrived and key items of possible forensic interest also disappeared from the house.
The cause of Stuart’s death remains unascertained and an inquest in 2002 recorded an open verdict.
DETERMINED: DCI Stephen Jennings wants to crack the case (Essex Police)
Senior Investigating Officer DCI Stephen Jennings said: “For almost 19-years the rape and death of Stuart Lubbock has remained a mystery and his family, in particular his devoted father Terry, have longed for both answers and justice.
“I and Essex Police are determined to do all we can to give Terry those answers and to bring someone to justice for what happened to Stuart.
“That determination is evident from the fact that both Essex Police and the charity Crimestoppers are funding a reward of up to £20,000 in the hope that someone can give us the breakthrough that we need.
“Nine people went to the party at Michael Barrymore’s house, but only one of them – Stuart – ended up being violently sexually assaulted and murdered.
“We know not everyone at that party was responsible for what happened, but someone was. We also know that not everyone at that party may know what happened, but someone does.
“We want the people who do have information to come forward and talk to us – 19 years is a long time, loyalties change and it is never too late to do the right thing.
UNSOLVED: Stuart died in March 2001 (Essex Police)
“Some people also arrived at the scene in the hours after Stuart’s death. They may also hold key information and we would like to hear from them.
“It is also possible that individuals at the party may have told other people what happened that night – if you know anything please come forward and speak anonymously to Crimestoppers.
“Crimestoppers charity allows people to give information 100 per cent anonymously.
“Please help us to help Stuart’s family finally get answers and justice.”
Mick Duthie, Director of Operations at the charity Crimestoppers, said: “Many years have passed and it may be that you know who was responsible but have never spoken about what happened that night. You’ve sat on this information for 19 years. The family continue to grieve and this is your opportunity to help them understand what happened to Stuart by telling us what you know."
DAD: Terry Lubbock has never given up trying to get to the truth (EN&I)
The reward comes as Essex Police features in a major documentary on Channel 4, Barrymore: The Body in the Pool.
The programme, which airs on Thursday February 6 at 9pm on Channel 4, forensically pieces together the events of March 31 2001.
DCI Jennings added: “This case has always been about the sexual assault and death of Stuart Lubbock. Whilst others may have lost sight of this fact, Essex Police never has.
“The Channel 4 documentary rightly focuses on the story of a young man, Stuart Lubbock, who went out clubbing with his brother and never returned home.
“We wanted to be part of an intelligent and sensitively-made programme that forensically pieces together the events of that night and what happened in the hope that it will help us in our quest for justice for Stuart and his family.”
The reward will only be available for information given to Crimestoppers and not the police. To be eligible for the reward, the information must lead to arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the rape and murder of Stuart Lubbock.
Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or use our anonymous online form on our website at Crimestoppers-uk.org”