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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 December 2006, 00:51 GMT
New Barrymore pool death inquiry
Stuart Lubbock
No-one has been charged in relation to Stuart Lubbock's death
Police are to launch a new inquiry into the death five years ago of a man whose body was found in a swimming pool at comedian Michael Barrymore's home.

The body of Stuart Lubbock, 31, from Harlow, Essex, was found during a party at the property in nearby Roydon.

Mr Lubbock was later found to have severe internal injuries.

Mr Barrymore and Mr Lubbock's family both said they were "delighted" by the new inquiry, which follows a police review of the original investigation.

No-one has ever been charged with any offence relating to the death.

A coroner recorded an open verdict at an inquest into Mr Lubbock's death in September 2002.

I'm willing to give every single assistance I can to bring closure to this matter for everybody's sake
Michael Barrymore

Mr Barrymore, who appeared in Scrooge at His Majesty's Theatre, in Aberdeen, on Saturday, said of the new inquiry: "I am delighted and thrilled and I will give my full support and hope this can come to some conclusion with this case for everyone's sake.

"I've been asking for years for this to be done. I'm willing to give every single assistance I can to bring closure to this matter for everybody's sake, so that we can all carry on with our lives.

"There are people that haven't been spoken to and this has to be cleared up for once and for all. It has been five-and-half years so far and five-and-half years too long."

Six-year wait

Mr Lubbock's father Terry - also of Harlow - has mounted a campaign for his son's death to be reinvestigated.

He said: "I have waited nearly six years to find out what happened to my son. Now I believe the police have made a breakthrough."

A friend of the Lubbock family, Harry Cichy, told BBC News 24: "We hope and trust that all those at the party, including Michael Barrymore, are reinterviewed... to get to the truth of what happened.

"The fact remains that this an unsolved, unexplained case. The truth still needs to come out."

Mr Barrymore, 54, who accepted an official caution for drug offences during the original police investigation, was sacked by ITV in 2002 in the wake of Mr Lubbock's death.

He has said he later contemplated suicide.

One the night he died, Mr Lubbock had been among a number of people invited to a party at Mr Barrymore's home.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Lubbock had suffered severe internal injuries, suggesting he may have been the victim of a serious sexual assault before his death.

Michael Barrymore
Michael Barrymore's career faltered after Mr Lubbock's death

Alcohol, ecstasy and cocaine were found in his bloodstream.

In February a district judge blocked a bid by Terry Lubbock to mount a private prosecution against Mr Barrymore.

Mr Lubbock had wanted the comedian to answer allegations of drug misuse, disorderly behaviour and assault.

However, following a private hearing at a magistrates' court in Southend, Essex, the district judge said there was insufficient evidence.

After that hearing, Terry Lubbock said: "There were at least eight people present on the night [Stuart] died and somebody knows why he died and what happened to him.

"None of them has ever come forward to tell us or the police the truth and I hope that pricks their conscience - and I doubt whether they sleep well at night. That includes Mr Barrymore."

New Zealand exile

In response to the failed prosecution, Mr Barrymore said the evidence relied on was "either inadequate or unlawfully obtained".

Mr Barrymore left the UK for a period of self-imposed exile in New Zealand in 2003.

He returned to take part in Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year, finishing runner-up to fake celebrity Chantelle Houghton.

Police began a routine review of the original investigation in April and confirmed the new investigation on Saturday.

A spokeswoman would not say whether detectives had any plans to reinterview Mr Barrymore or whether he had already been reinterviewed.




SEE ALSO
Barrymore admits suicide thoughts
07 Oct 06 |  Entertainment



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