Man arrested in connection with Michael Barrymore pool death - here's what police have said

Stuart Lubbock was found dead in Michael Barrymore's pool in 2001 (Essex Police)Stuart Lubbock was found dead in Michael Barrymore's pool in 2001 (Essex Police)
Stuart Lubbock was found dead in Michael Barrymore's pool in 2001 (Essex Police)

A man has been arrested over the murder and indecent assault of Stuart Lubbock.

Lubbock was 31 years old when he was found dead in the swimming pool of TV presenter Michael Barrymore in Roydon, Essex.

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Essex police say that a 50-year-old man was arrested at his home in Cheshire and was currently in police custody.

Barrymore was criticised for leaving his home soon after Mr Lubbock was found floating in the outside pool.

The 68-year-old former television presenter, who became a household name for shows such as Strike It Lucky, has always denied involvement in the death.

What have police said? 

In a statement, Essex Police said: “Detectives have today, Wednesday 17 March, arrested a 50-year-old man in connection with the indecent assault and murder of Stuart Lubbock.

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“The man, who was arrested in Cheshire, remains in custody where he continues to be questioned.

“Stuart was found unconscious in the swimming pool of a property in Roydon on March 31 2001. Despite attempts to save him he later died in hospital. The 31-year-old had been attending a party at the house with eight other people.

“A post-mortem examination found Stuart had suffered horrific anal injuries which are believed to be the result of a serious sexual assault prior to his death.”

What is known about the death?

A post-mortem examination showed Mr Lubbock had suffered severe internal injuries which suggested he had been sexually assaulted.

Alcohol, ecstasy and cocaine were found in his bloodstream.

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Barrymore was criticised for failing to answer questions at the inquest in 2002.

He also said he could not jump in and try to save Mr Lubbock because he could not swim, a claim disputed by others who knew the star.

The coroner recorded an open verdict.

Barrymore, his former partner Jonathan Kenny and fellow party guest Justin Merritt were arrested in 2007 on suspicion of sexual assault and murder, but were later released without charge.

Barrymore repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, last year saying: “I have had nothing to do with this whatsoever and yet I keep getting bashed and bullied by the media.”

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In 2009, the police watchdog published the findings of a review of the investigation into Mr Lubbock’s death, concluding that officers missed crucial evidence and did not ensure vital forensic tests were completed until six years later.

What has Lubbock’s dad said? 

Stuart Lubbock’s father Terry has reacted to the news.

He told PA: “There is just so much going on in my head. I can’t get my head around it. Of course I’m happy. Of course this is good news. But it’s been 20 years. This has nearly killed me.”

Harry Clichy, a friend of the Lubbock family, said: “I’m pleased. Of course this is progress. We can only hope it leads to justice for Stuart after all these years.”