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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 December 2006, 16:04 GMT
Barrymore welcomes death inquiry
Stuart Lubbock
No-one has been charged in relation to Stuart Lubbock's death
Entertainer Michael Barrymore has welcomed a new police inquiry into the death of a man at his home in 2001 and vowed to give "every assistance I can".

Police say they are to reinvestigate the death of Stuart Lubbock, 31, after a review of the original inquiry.

Mr Lubbock, of Harlow, Essex, was found in Mr Barrymore's swimming pool in nearby Roydon in 2001. He was later found to have severe internal injuries.

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

Friends of Mr Lubbock said there was a need "to get to the truth".

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 was appearing in Scrooge at His Majesty's Theatre, in Aberdeen, on Saturday, said of the new inquiry: "I am delighted and thrilled.

"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."

'Unsolved case'

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

He said: "It's the first of many steps hopefully leading to arrest and that is what I want to see and I will be truly, truly elated when that happens.

"The fight will go on until the truth emerges and people are arrested and sat in the court and then my job will be over."

The Lubbock family lawyer, Anthony Bennett, told BBC Five Live that the police have been reviewing evidence and that the family has provided its own dossier of information.

He said: "There's no new evidence; however what we've done is a completely fresh analysis based on combing through all the material that was before the coroner's inquest and some additional material".

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.

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

On 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.

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.

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.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The background to the death of Stuart Lubbock



SEE ALSO
Barrymore admits suicide thoughts
07 Oct 06 |  Entertainment



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