A man arrested on suspicion of indecent assault and murder of Stuart Lubbock at English actor, comedian and television presenter Michael Barrymore's mansion in 2001 has been released without being any charges. Essex Police, during their investigation into the death of the 31-year-old Lubbock, detained a 50-year-old man in March after they had come across "significant new information". The man arrested earlier in Cheshire had been released on bail, with Essex Police on Thursday stating that there was insufficient evidence in order to prosecute him.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings, said, "We have worked tirelessly to secure justice for Stuart, for his devoted father Terry and for the whole family. This news is a huge personal disappointment to all of the detectives involved in this case. We have explored all possible lines of inquiry and sometimes, regrettably, the evidence is not yet there to issue charges."
Stuart Lubbock, a butcher, had attended a party hosted by Michael Barrymore at his luxury residence in Roydon, which also saw eight other people in attendance at the time on March 31, 2001, when he died. During the post-mortem, it was revealed that Lubbock had sustained internal injuries suggesting he was sexually assaulted, with alcohol, ecstasy and cocaine found in his bloodstream. The coroner had recorded an open verdict. Later in March, Detective Superintendent Lucy Morris stated that new information had come to light after a Channel 4 documentary in February 2020 and an increased reward of £40,000 based on a police appeal. She said, "This information has led to us making an arrest and over the coming days we will be contacting all those who were present at the party at the time as well as others who may have information. We have never given up on finding out exactly what happened to Stuart and we will not stop in our pursuit of justice for him and for his family and friends. Nine people were at that party. We know that not everyone was responsible for what happened but someone was. Now is the time to come forward, if you haven't done so already, to set this matter to rest by providing us with any information you have."
Michael Barrymore, now 69, was arrested in the case in 2007, but was never charged. Later, he sued Essex Police stating that his wrongful arrest had led to about £2.5 million in lost earnings. That said, the Court of Appeal judges in their judgment awarded him with nominal charges. After Lubbock was found floating at Barrymore's outdoor pool, the actor was criticised for leaving his home soon, including coming under scrutiny for not being able to answer questions at Lubbock's inquest in 2002. Denying his involvement in Lubock's death, Barrymore last year said, "I have had nothing to do with this whatsoever and yet I keep getting bashed and bullied by the media”.
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