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Wednesday, 15 August, 2001, 17:36 GMT 18:36 UK
Police search Barrymore's house
Michael Barrymore leaving Harlow police station after being questioned by officers
Michael Barrymore: Treatment for "personal problems"
Police are carrying out a detailed forensic search at the house of entertainer Michael Barrymore.

Mr Barrymore, 49, was arrested in June on suspicion of drugs offences after the death of a man at his house.

A police scientific support unit van arrived at Barrymore's house in Roydon, Essex, at 1330BST on Wednesday, acting on new information given to the investigation.

The entertainer had earlier been to an Essex police station where his bail conditions were extended until October.

Police officer
A police officer stands outside Barrymore's home
A small number of men entered the house in Roydon, including Detective Superintendent Ian McNeill, the officer leading the investigation into the death of 31-year-old Stuart Lubbock in March.

Police said they expected to be at the house for a day or two, although it was stressed the search was not related to any drugs offences.

Detective Superintendent Ian McNeil said: "New information has come into the inquiry which allows us to be much more specific in what we are looking for and apply certain specific tests.

"Officers will be working through the night both inside and outside the house.

"Mr Barrymore's legal team are in constant dialogue with my team. We are working through this as amicably as possible."

Co-operation

Mr Barrymore's solicitor David Corker insisted his client was not being investigated in connection with any murder inquiry.

He said: "There is nothing today and there never has been any suggestion that he is a suspect in any homicidal inquiry.

"The search of his house arises because he was the occupier of the premises.

"Mr Barrymore is co-operating with their search."

He said Mr Barrymore was coping "as well as can be expected" and that he would remain on the premises while the search continued.

Michael Barrymore
Mr Barrymore reported for bail from his home in Roydon, Essex

Mr Barrymore was arrested in June on suspicion of possession and supply of a Class B drug, possession of a Class A drug, and allowing premises to be used for the taking of a Class B drug.

His arrest followed the death of Stuart Lubbock, 31, who was found floating in the TV star's swimming pool.

A post-mortem examination revealed the butcher's assistant, from Harlow, Essex, had drowned.

Two other men have also had their bail extended for two months following their arrest on suspicion of murdering of Mr Lubbock.

'Face up'

One of them is John Kenney, 31, from Blackpool, a close friend of Mr Barrymore.

Mr Kenney arrived on foot at the police station and was driven away 20 minutes later in a grey Ford Mondeo.

The second man, Justin Merrit, 26, from Harlow, attended the Essex town's police station at 1000BST.

Stuart Lubbock
Stuart Lubbock: Found unconscious in pool
After his arrest, Mr Barrymore's agent said the star wanted to "face up to his personal problems and... undergo intensive treatment".

Mr Barrymore arrived back in Britain on Monday from the United States after treatment at a rehabilitation clinic in Arizona and said he felt "a lot better".

Police tests

A spokesman for ITV later said there were no plans to scrap any of Mr Barrymore's shows, which include Kids Say The Funniest Things and My Kind of People.

The results of toxicology tests on the body of Mr Lubbock have been delivered to police and are being assessed.

An inquest into Mr Lubbock's death was opened and a post-mortem examination revealed he had drowned.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jane Warr
"Mr Barrymore's solicitor said it had come as a shock to him"
The BBC's Jake Lynch reports
from Michael Barrymore's home
Detective Superintendent Ian McNeil
is leading the investigation
See also:

05 Jun 01 | TV and Radio
Barrymore sacking denied
06 Jun 01 | Showbiz
Barrymore's varied career
01 Apr 01 | Showbiz
Barrymore's troubled life
11 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Barrymore is viewers' favourite
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