Timeline: two decades since Stuart Lubbock died in Michael Barrymore’s pool

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Here is a timeline of events following the death of Stuart Lubbock at the home of entertainer Michael Barrymore.

March 31: Mr Lubbock, 31, of Harlow, Essex, is found dead at Barrymore’s home in nearby Roydon following a party. The entertainer is questioned by police.

October: Barrymore accepts an official caution for drugs offences and allowing his home to be used for smoking cannabis. No further charges are brought.

Entertainer Michael Barrymore (William Conran/PA)
Entertainer Michael Barrymore (William Conran/PA)

September: Barrymore abandons a comeback attempt after the first three nights of his one-man show in London receive bad reviews.

December: Amid reports that he has received a £1.4 million tax bill, he leaves the UK to live in New Zealand with his long-term partner Shaun Davis.

May: Barrymore announces that he has filed for voluntary bankruptcy in the UK because of the “unexpected” tax demand.

January: Barrymore returns to screens in the UK as a Celebrity Big Brother housemate.

He remains in the house for three weeks and is runner-up in the final poll, leading to speculation that his showbusiness career will be revived.

Michael Barrymore is evicted from the Celebrity Big Brother house (yui Mok/PA)
Michael Barrymore is evicted from the Celebrity Big Brother house (Yui Mok/PA)

Mr Lubbock reportedly tells the entertainer he does not hold him “responsible” for what happened.

Barrymore is said to have responded: “It haunts me every day.”

February: Mr Lubbock’s family is blocked from launching a private prosecution against the celebrity.

A district judge in Southend, Essex, rules there is insufficient evidence for a hearing on six offences – four related to the misuse of drugs, one alleging drunk and disorderly behaviour and one alleging assault.

April: Police announce that they are reviewing Mr Lubbock’s death as part of “routine” procedure.

December: Essex Police begin a new inquiry into Mr Lubbock’s death.

Detectives said their decision to reinvestigate followed a review of the initial inquiry.


March:  Police issue a new appeal for information on the sixth anniversary of Mr Lubbock’s death.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) also launches an inquiry into the original police investigation surrounding Mr Lubbock’s death.

Barrymore and two other men are arrested and questioned on suspicion of seriously sexually assaulting and murdering Mr Lubbock.

They are later released without charge.

February: The IPCC publishes the findings of a review of the police investigation into Mr Lubbock’s death, including that officers missed crucial evidence and did not ensure vital forensic tests were completed until six years later.

March: Police launch a fresh appeal for information over the death.

December: Barrymore admits cocaine possession and is fined £780.

December: Barrymore lodges an appeal for £2.5 million damages after suing police who arrested him over Mr Lubbock’s death.

August: A High Court judge rules Barrymore is entitled to “more than nominal” damages against Essex Police over the wrongful arrest which he said destroyed his career.

Stuart Lubbock (Essex Police/PA)
Stuart Lubbock (Essex Police/PA)

February: A Channel 4 documentary about Mr Lubbock’s death prompts Barrymore to issue a fresh denial of any wrongdoing, saying: “I have had nothing to do with this whatsoever and yet I keep getting bashed and bullied by the media.”

March: Terry Lubbock hints at the possibility of fresh evidence emerging, telling PA: “I wouldn’t be surprised if someone cracks soon under all this pressure and decides to get it off their chest once and for all.”

On March 17, Essex Police announces a 50-year-old man has been arrested in Cheshire in connection with Mr Lubbock’s murder and indecent assault.

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