Page last updated at 13:41 GMT, Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Timeline: Barrymore pool death

Stuart Lubbock
No-one has been charged in relation to Stuart Lubbock's death

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has published a report critical of Essex Police's investigation into the death of Stuart Lubbock at entertainer Michael Barrymore's house in 2001.

The dead man's father, Terry Lubbock, said police errors were to blame for no-one being charged in connection with his son's death.

Here are some key dates in the case.

31 MARCH 2001

Stuart Lubbock's body is found by emergency services by a swimming pool at the TV entertainer's home in Roydon, Essex.

The 31-year-old meat inspector had been attending an impromptu party at the house, following a night out at a Harlow nightclub.


Following the police inquiry into Stuart Lubbock's death, Michael Barrymore is given a caution for drugs offences and allowing his home to be used for smoking cannabis. However, no further charges are brought.


Michael Barrymore
Barrymore appeared in a comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2008

At an inquest into Mr Lubbock's death, medical experts say he had suffered severe internal injuries, suggesting he may have been the victim of a serious sexual assault.

The court hears alcohol, cocaine and ecstasy were also found in his system.

Mr Barrymore gives evidence to the inquest, but refuses to answer questions over allegations that he gave Mr Lubbock cocaine just hours before his body was found.

The inquest records an open verdict.


ITV states it has no future plans to commission more shows from the comedian.

Mr Barrymore, who was the presenter of a number of successful shows, including Strike it Lucky, was reportedly on a 2m contract with the commercial channel.


During an interview on GMTV, Mr Barrymore reveals he is "sad and sorry" about Mr Lubbock's death and offers to meet his family.


Poor reviews after the first three nights of a one-man show in London lead Mr Barrymore to abandon a "comeback" career attempt.

In December the entertainer leaves the UK to live in New Zealand with his long-term partner Shaun Davis, amid reports that Mr Barrymore has received a 1.4m tax bill.

MAY 2004

Mr Barrymore reveals that he has filed for voluntary bankruptcy in the UK because of the "unexpected" tax demand.


Terry Lubbock
Terry Lubbock met Mr Barrymore after his Big Brother appearance

The comedian returns to British television screens as a Celebrity Big Brother housemate on Channel 4.

He finishes runner-up after surviving a series of public votes to stay in the house for three weeks.

Commentators speculate that his showbusiness career will be revived following the outcome.

Once out of the house, Mr Barrymore holds a two-hour meeting with Mr Lubbock's father, Terry, in a London hotel.

Mr Lubbock reportedly tells the entertainer he does not hold him "responsible" for what happened to his son.

Mr Barrymore is reported to have said the death "haunts me every day".


Mr Lubbock's family are "blocked" from launching a private prosecution against the entertainer after a district judge in Southend, Essex, rules there is insufficient evidence for a hearing relating to six alleged offences.

Four of the allegations relate to the misuse of drugs, one to alleged drunk and disorderly behaviour and one to alleged assault.

19 APRIL 2006

Detectives reveal they are reviewing the death of meat factory worker Mr Lubbock as part of "routine" procedure.


Police announce they are to launch a new investigation into Mr Lubbock's death.

30 JANUARY 2007

Mr Lubbock's father Terry calls off a protest outside Edinburgh Festival Theatre, where Mr Barrymore is performing in Scrooge.

1 MARCH 2007

The Independent Police Complaints Commission launches an investigation into aspects of the initial inquiry into Mr Lubbock's death.

It follows complaints from Mr Lubbock's family surrounding information Essex Police gave to a coroner and pathologists.

30 MARCH 2007

Detectives make a fresh plea for information almost six years after Mr Lubbock was found dead.

14 JUNE 2007

Mr Barrymore is arrested along with two other men, aged 37 and 32, on suspicion of serious sexual assault and murder.

Mr Barrymore is released on police bail the following day.

Justin Merritt, from Harlow, Essex, is also released on police bail. The other man - Jonathan Kenny, from Blackpool, in Lancashire - is released on bail a day later.


The Crown Prosecution Service announces that Mr Barrymore will not face charges over the death of Mr Lubbock.

He was questioned at Harlow police station, along with Mr Merritt and Mr Kenny, before all three were released without charge.

Chris McCann, of Essex CPS, said: "I have decided there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction against the three individuals."

Police say their file will remain open.


Terry Lubbock wins 6,800 criminal injuries compensation.

Mr Lubbock said he would use the money to "get justice for my son".


Mr Lubbock wants to find out what happened to his son
Mr Lubbock protested outside Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms venue

Barrymore makes his stage comeback playing Spike Milligan in a stage drama about the comedian's life.

Mr Lubbock's father is in the audience to see him receive cheers and applause for Surviving Spike from a half-empty house at the Theatre Royal, Windsor.

It is his first high-profile appearance role since being arrested over Mr Lubbock's death.

In July he reprises the role at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where Mr Lubbock's father conducts a protest outside the theatre.

JULY 2008

The attorney general refuses Mr Lubbock permission to appeal to the High Court for a new inquest into the death.

He is unhappy the inquest in 2002 recorded an open verdict into his death.

24 FEBRUARY 2009

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry upholds six of 36 complaints and allegations made by Stuart's father, Terry Lubbock.

The IPCC finds two pieces of evidence - a pool thermometer and a door handle - went missing after Stuart's death.

IPCC Commissioner David Petch says there were "failings in some aspects of the investigation."

But he adds: " The view that the entire investigation was incompetent is not borne out by the bulk of the evidence."

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