Dad of man found dead in swimming pool thanks Barrymore
The father of Stuart Lubbock, the man found dead in Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool nearly 20 years ago, has praised the TV star for keeping the case in the public eye.
Terry Lubbock spoke about his son’s death as a new documentary, Barrymore: The Body In The Pool, is due to air this week.
In the Channel 4 programme, Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings says he believes Stuart was “raped and murdered that night” at Barrymore’s then home in Roydon, Essex, in March 2001.
After seeing a preview, Terry Lubbock, 74, says he thinks the show will help police investigating Stuart’s death, and that Barrymore has helped his fight for justice.
“I’m not well now and I’ve seen the best years of my life,” Mr Lubbock said. “All I live for is to see Stuart get justice – and I’m determined that I will live to see Stuart get justice.
“Michael Barrymore is a very, very clever man and he wants to be in the limelight and he wants to be back on television.
“And he has helped me enormously. He’s kept this in the news and I thank him for it.
“I cannot imagine Stuart would still be getting all this attention without Michael Barrymore.”
Barrymore was arrested in connection with the death in 2007, but was never charged with any offence.
One of the UK’s best known TV stars at the time, he withdrew from public life. He was due to compete in the current series of Dancing On Ice as part of a comeback, but had to pull out after suffering a broken wrist.
The new programme charts the police’s investigation into Stuart’s death, as well as the attempts by Barrymore to restore his public image.
Mr Lubbock, who lives in Harlow, Essex, says he still has dreams about his son.
“Stuart was 31 when he died,” he said. “He’d be 50 now. People had said to me, ‘Why don’t you put this behind you? Your son has gone.’
“But how can you forget your child? I dream about Stuart. To me his death seems like it was weeks ago, not 19 years ago.
“As long as I keep breathing I won’t stop fighting for him. And anyone who had anything to do with what happened to him had better realise that.
“I have seen this documentary. It’s very good. I think it’s going to push the door open a bit more. I think it’s going to help get justice for Stuart. I’d urge everyone to watch it.”
Mr Lubbock told the documentary that trying to solve the mystery of his son’s death has “consumed” him.
“This thing is so big that it smothered everything that was good about my son Stuart. I feel exhausted but it is still in me to carry on,” he said.
“How can a father dismiss the questions that have got to be answered about my son’s murder?”
He added: “I hope to God that Stuart was on another planet and that he didn’t feel pain.”
In the documentary, DCI Jennings speaks about the party that took place the night Stuart died.
“Somebody at that party knows what happened,” he says.
Items from the house, including a pool thermometer, went missing after the property was initially searched by police, he says.
At the beginning of the 90-minute documentary, the 999 call reporting the incident to police is played.
“A fella has drowned in the pool,” the caller says. “We have got him out. There’s a party going on and someone has just gone out and found him. I think the geezer’s dead, mate.”
An open verdict was recorded at the inquest into Stuart’s death in 2002.
Barrymore always maintained his innocence, and sued Essex Police, claiming his arrest in 2007 was wrongful and cost him about £2.5m in lost earnings.
Court of Appeal judges concluded in December 2018 that he would be entitled to only “nominal” damages.
Barrymore: The Body In The Pool will be broadcast on Channel 4 on Thursday.