Essex

Michael Barrymore apologises over Stuart Lubbock pool death

Michael Barrymore Image copyright PA
Image caption Michael Barrymore says he still "hopes for answers" over the death of Stuart Lubbock

Entertainer Michael Barrymore has made an emotional apology over the death of a man found in his swimming pool.

The comedian said he "couldn't be more sorry" for the death of Stuart Lubbock in 2001, but was "100% innocent".

He told Piers Morgan's Life Stories he hoped for "an answer... within what is left of my life".

In 2007 Barrymore was arrested in connection with the death of the 31-year-old but later released and withdrew from public life.

Mr Lubbock's body was found in the pool at Barrymore's home in Roydon, Essex, after a party where drugs and alcohol were taken.

A post-mortem examination revealed he had suffered sexual assault injuries.

Image copyright Other
Image caption Mr Lubbock was found dead in the entertainer's swimming pool in 2001

Barrymore, 67, fled and then stayed silent during an inquest into Mr Lubbock's death.

He told Morgan he had left his home in fear that it would be "surrounded" by press.

Recalling the events of 2001, he said: "That family deserves proper answers. No parent should have to bury their young.

"I had nothing to do with Stuart. I am innocent. I am not 99.9% innocent. I am 100% innocent and I am entitled to walk around with my head held high for the rest of my life."

Barrymore added: "I didn't facilitate him taking drugs. I was advised (to stay silent) by lawyers at the time. You don't have to answer in a coroners court.

"I can see lots of things in hindsight. I'm not making excuses.

"What more do you want? I'm sorry. I couldn't be more sorry.

"I have to live in hope that somehow, somewhere, there will be an answer. I just hope it will be within what is left of my life."

Image caption Barrymore's Essex home became the centre of inquiries into how Stuart Lubbock died

Of the Life Stories interview, Mr Lubbock's father Terry said: "I shall be watching, as I have been for the last 18 years of my life story.

"My fight for justice for my son Stuart continues."

In 2002, an open verdict was recorded at the inquest into Mr Lubbock' death.

Barrymore won compensation in 2017 from Essex Police for wrongful arrest.

But Essex Police won an appeal in December 2018 to ensure the entertainer would only receive nominal damages.

The force said a Court of Appeal hearing had affirmed that there were reasonable grounds to arrest Barrymore.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith said: "Attacking hardworking front line policemen and women on national TV is unfair, particularly when some of what is being reported is simply wrong.

"The investigation into Stuart's death, and how he sustained such serious injuries is still open.

"We owe it to him and to his family to piece together exactly what happened in the swimming pool at Mr Barrymore's home in March 2001."

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