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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 18:06 GMT
Police reject Barrymore claims
Michael Barrymore
Michael Barrymore: Lubbock had visited his house
The man found dead in TV entertainer Michael Barrymore's swimming pool suffered severe internal injuries before he died, police have revealed.

Essex Police have examined suggestions made by Mr Barrymore's lawyer that Stuart Lubbock was injured after being admitted to a Harlow hospital.

On Wednesday, a force spokesman said: "The evidence gathered from 16 people, including pathologists and hospital staff, suggests he received the injuries before he died."

The 31-year-old factory worker from Harlow was taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital after being found floating in the pool at Mr Barrymore's luxury home in Roydon in March 2001.

We are as satisfied as we can be that the injuries did not occur at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Detective Superintendent Win Bernard
An open verdict was recorded at the inquest, which heard that Mr Lubbock suffered severe internal injuries which suggested he may have been seriously sexually assaulted before his death.

Detective Superintendent Win Bernard, who led the inquiry, said: "We are as satisfied as we can be that the injuries did not occur at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

"This suggests that someone present at the address may know exactly what happened and we will investigate any new information which we may receive."

Ecstasy and cocaine

Mr Lubbock's inquest heard post-mortem examinations showed Mr Lubbock had a combination of alcohol and drugs, including ecstasy and cocaine, in his system.

Recording her verdict after a week-long hearing, coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said that what happened to Mr Lubbock remained a mystery.

Experts at the inquest said the injuries, which included bruising, lacerations and inflammation, may have been caused by a large, hard object and the result of a serious sexual assault.

Police said in January they were satisfied with the line of inquiry in the original investigation, but would look into how the injuries were caused at the request of Barrymore's solicitor.

A statement from the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust welcomed the announcement.

"The shadow which has been hanging over our hospital in recent months, calling into question the reputation of our staff, has now been lifted by this announcement," it said.

"We hope this is an end to the matter. We would like to take this opportunity to offer our sincerest condolences to Mr Lubbock's family."

'Still unresolved'

In a statement released through his agent Julie Hargreaves, Mr Barrymore said: "I am extremely disappointed with today's announcement from the police.

"The paramedics at my house and the resuscitation team at the hospital were very clear in their original statements that they did not witness any of these injuries to Mr Lubbock, that they were only apparently found at post-mortem.

"Mr Lubbock was pronounced dead two and a half hours after arriving at the hospital.

"Any suggestion from the police that Mr Lubbock's injuries were sustained at my house contradict the hospital staff's statements.

"I am not pointing the finger of blame at any of the hospital staff who attended to Mr Lubbock during the resuscitation period, I am merely stating the facts as they stand and have been presented to me via the coroner's pre-inquest statements."

"This leaves a still unresolved situation regarding the facts for all concerned, especially Mr Lubbock's family."

Unsure of next move

Barrymore's solicitor, David Corker, said the police had not given answers to any of the questions he had asked about Mr Lubbock's injuries.

"They have not responded to any of the evidence that I have amassed," he said.

"For example, was the body guarded between being in casualty and the post-mortem - a period of about six hours?"

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We are absolutely confident that we have answered everything that needed answering about this part of the investigation."

Mr Lubbock was pronounced dead two hours after arriving at the hospital. The inquest could establish no definite cause of death.


SEE ALSO:
New Barrymore pool death inquiry
14 Jan 03  |  UK News
Barrymore calls for second inquest
29 Dec 02  |  Entertainment
Barrymore attacked for 'empty words'
01 Oct 02  |  Entertainment
Barrymore: I'm no killer
30 Sep 02  |  Entertainment
ITV dumps Barrymore
20 Sep 02  |  Entertainment


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