Prosecutors consider charging Blackpool man over 2001 party death at Michael Barrymore's home

Prosecutors are to consider whether to charge a Blackpool man over the death of a party-goer who was found in Michael Barrymore's pool 20 years ago.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 11:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 11:54 am
Stuart Lubbock died after he attended a party at TV entertainer Michael Barrymore’s luxury home in Essex with eight other people on March 31, 2001, where he was found unresponsive in a swimming pool. Pic: PA Media

The 50-year-old suspect, who has not been named, was arrested in Cheshire on March 17 after “significant new information” came to light, said Essex Police.

The man, from Blackpool, was arrested on suspicion of the indecent assault and murder of Stuart Lubbock, a 31-year-old butcher, at the Essex home of the TV entertainer in 2001.

He has since been released under investigation, but Essex Police said a file is to be submitted “imminently” to the CPS for consideration following a “substantial and detailed investigation”.

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What happened?

Mr Lubbock had been attending a party at Barrymore’s luxury home in Roydon with eight other people on March 31, 2001, when he was found unresponsive in a swimming pool.

Despite attempts to save him, the 31-year-old later died in hospital.

TV star Michael Barrymore, who was known for shows including Strike It Lucky, has always denied involvement in the death.

A post-mortem examination later revealed that he had suffered severe internal injuries which suggested he had been sexually assaulted.

Alcohol, ecstasy and cocaine were found in his bloodstream.

The coroner recorded an open verdict.

An Essex Police spokesman said: "Following our substantial and detailed investigation, we will imminently be submitting a file to the CPS for their consideration and decision."

Det Supt Morris said the investigation had been "extremely lengthy and complex", adding: "We have never given up on finding out what exactly happened to Stuart and we will not stop in our pursuit of justice for him and for his family and friends."