Police Reopen Pool Death Investigation

Michael Barrymore Arrested For ‘Murder’

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Gay British entertainer Michael Barrymore has against been arrested for his alleged role in the 2001 suspected murder of Stuart Lubbock. Barrymore and two of his other party guests “found” Lubbock’s body floating in Barrymore’s pool during. Though the men claimed Lubbock drowned, the 31-year old also sustained serious anal injuries, leading police to wonder what exactly happened that fateful night.

Though Barrymore denied involvement in Lubbock’s death, new details arose in an interview the 55-year old gay man gave to Simon Cowell‘s literary agent brother, Tony. Daily Mail reports:

The sensational development came just days after murder squad detectives seized the tapes held in a safe belonging to Tony Cowell.

Mr Cowell, a literary agent, made the tapes – believed to contain new information about 31-year-old Mr Lubbock’s death – when he was in talks with Barrymore about writing an autobiography.

It is understood the pair spoke in depth about the infamous party that took place on 31 March 2001, at the star’s Roydon home. However, they fell out and Mr Cowell put the tapes in a safe.

Essex Police seized the tapes at the weekend after learning they were in Mr Cowell’s possession.

Police claim the tapes didn’t lead to Barrymore’s arrest, but are part of a larger investigation.

This fresh arrest counts as the second time Barrymore’s been brought in on suspicion of Lubbock’s murder. In addition to carting off Barrymore, coppers rearrested Barrymore’s ex-lover Jonathan Kenney and Harlow dustman Justin Merritt. Both men were previously detained for the part in the party’s gruesome end. Insufficient evidence, however, got them off the hook.

All three men were present at the party on the night of Mr Lubbock’s death. Despite evidence suggestive of sexual assault, no one has ever been charged. An inquest in September 2002 returned an open verdict.

Mr Lubbock’s father, Terry, has always maintained that his son was murdered after being subjected to a homosexual attack during the course of the party.

In the early hours of March 31, 2001, an ambulance was called to the £2m house where Stuart was lying by the side of the pool dressed only in boxer shorts. Paramedics were told he had been found at the bottom of the pool and dragged out.

Barrymore had fled the scene before the ambulance arrived, and he was later arrested and cautioned for drugs offences.

His then boyfriend, drag artist Jonathan Kenney, and local dustman Justin Merritt were arrested several weeks later on suspicion of murder, but later released without charge.

A post-mortem examination found Stuart had suffered severe anal injuries. Barrymore believes these were the result of hospital procedures carried out by doctors trying to revive Stuart, but the Lubbock family believes he was raped.

Barrymore admitted in a magazine interview that he believed some of the party guests knew more about Stuart’s death than they had let on, but refused to name names.

Will police find Barrymore’s name to be one of those who knew more than they let on? We really can’t say, but it ain’t looking good.

Barrymore arrested over pool death [The Guardian]
Michael Barrymore Arrested for Murder [Times]