Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BARRYMORE ARRESTED FOR POOL MURDER; TV Entertainer Held Six Years after Death at Cocaine Party

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BARRYMORE ARRESTED FOR POOL MURDER; TV Entertainer Held Six Years after Death at Cocaine Party

Article excerpt

MICHAEL BARRYMORE was arrested today on suspicion of murder and rape in connection with the death of a man in his swimming pool.

He was one of three men held by detectives re-investigating the death of Stuart Lubbock at Mr Barrymore's home in Essex in March 2001.

The 55-year-old entertainer, who had been living New Zealand, was held in London. He is said to have returned to Britain because he was homesick.

The other men arrested were Barrymore's ex-lover Jonathan Kenney, 37, who was held at an address in the North-East, and Justin Merritt, 32, in the Midlands.

Essex police did not name the men but

Culture 38-45 TV 46-48 Entertainment said they were being held on suspicion of murder and serious sexual assault.

Mr Lubbock, 31, a butcher from Harlow, Essex, was found dead at Barrymore's home in Roydon after a late-night party involving the comedian and several friends.

An inquest found that he had suffered severe internal injuries which were consistent with a serious sexual assault. Alcohol and the drugs ecstasy and cocaine were also found in his bloodstream.

Essex police launched a lengthy inquiry and both Kenney and Merritt were arrested in connection with the death at the time but were released without charge. Barrymore was arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs and accepted a police caution for drug offences. The Strike it Lucky star claimed he found Mr Lubbock dead in his swimming pool. and has maintained that it was a tragic accident. However, Mr Lubbock's family claim he was murdered in an horrific homosexual rape.

Today Mr Lubbock's grandmother said she was elated at the news of Barrymore's arrest. Rosina Lubbock, 86, said: " I'm on cloud nine. I almost can't believe it. All along I have just wanted to know what happened to Stuart. I want this to be resolved before I die. …

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