Stuart Lubbock’s mysterious death is being re-examined in the Channel 4 documentary Barrymore: The Body in the Pool.
The 31-year-old was found dead in the swimming pool of former TV star Michael Barrymore in Essex in 2001.
At the time, Emergency services in Essex received a call saying: “A fella has drowned in the pool 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.”
Essex police have now admitted that “crime scene mistakes” were made during the investigation, which remains open to this day.
The new programme charts the police investigation into Stuart’s death, and the attempts by Barrymore to restore his public image.
Who was Stuart Lubbock?
Stuart Lubbock was was a divorced dad-of-two from Harlow, Essex.
He worked as a meat factory supervisor.
Stuart and seven others had been attending an all-night party at the mansion of Barrymore in Roydon, Essex on March 31, 2001.
The TV presenter and comedian had invited Stuart back to his home for a private party after meeting him at the Millennium Nightclub.
Stuart had been at the nightclub in Harlow, and got chatting to Barrymore and his entourage.
How did Stuart Lubbock die?
Three witnesses, including Barrymore, claimed to have found Stuart motionless in the pool hours later.
When emergency services arrived Stuart’s body was dragged out of the pool and laid on the side.
A post-mortem examination suggested he had been sexually assaulted, because he had several internal injuries.
In 2002, Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray was told that he had alcohol in his system, along with drugs including ecstasy, amphetamine and cocaine.
However, three out of the four pathologists were unable to prove an exact cause of death.
Professor Christopher Milroy, a forensic pathologist, said: “It is a possibility Mr Lubbock was held around the neck.”
At the 2002 inquest into his death, pathologist Professor Jack Crane said: “I do not rule out the possibility of asphyxiation or cardiac arrest occurring during some sort of non-consensual sexual act. Why would a fit, healthy young man drown in a swimming pool? There must be other factors involved.”
In 2007, Barrymore and two others from the party were arrested on suspicion of murder and rape.
But none of them were charged, and Barrymore’s arrest was later found to be unlawful, because the officer did not have reasonable grounds to arrest him.
Barrymore has always denied any wrongdoing or involvement in the death.