Police reopen inquiry into death in Barrymore's swimming pool

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The Independent Online

Detectives are launching a fresh investigation into the death of Stuart Lubbock, whose body was found in a swimming pool at the home of comedian Michael Barrymore.

Essex Police said the decision to reinvestigate followed a review of the initial inquiry five years ago. No one has been charged despite post mortem evidence that Lubbock may have been sexually assaulted. The force would not say whether detectives plan to question Mr Barrymore, who was interviewed during the first inquiry, or whether he had been reinterviewed already.

According to a report in The News of the World, police are to investigate suspicions that Lubbock, who was aged 31, did not die in the water and that his drowning was a cover-up. They are also understood to be investigating claims that Lubbock died an hour before anyone alerted the emergency services.

Lubbock was at a party at the entertainer's home in Harlow when he died. The illegal drugs ecstasy and cocaine, as well as alcohol, were found in his bloodstream after his death. He also suffered severe internal injuries.

A coroner recorded an open verdict at an inquest in September 2002. But in February this year, Lubbock's father failed in a bid to launch a private prosecution against Mr Barrymore to force him to answer allegations of drug misuse, disorderly behaviour and assault. Mr Barrymore was cautioned for drugs offences following the original inquiry.

Lubbock's brother, Kevin, welcomed news that police are reopening the inquiry. "It's what my father wanted all along," he said.