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  1. ITV Report

Essex Police still want answers over Stuart Lubbock's death

Stuart Lubbock was found dead in the swimming pool at Michael Barrymore's home near Harlow in 2001.

Essex Police say they are still committed to finding out what happened to Stuart Lubbock who died at Michael Barrymore's home near Harlow in 2001.

The High Court has ruled that Mr Barrymore is entitled to "more than nominal" damages from Essex Police for his wrongful arrest on suspicion of the rape and murder of 31-year-old Mr Lubbock in 2006.

Mr Lubbock's body was found in the pool after a party where drugs and alcohol were consumed.

A post-mortem examination later revealed that he had suffered serious injuries. In 2002, an open verdict was recorded at the inquest into his death.

Stuart Lubbock's body was found in the pool at Michael Barrymore's home near Harlow in Essex. Credit: ITV News

In a statement Essex Police said: "Today’s judgement must not overshadow the questions which are still unanswered for Mr Lubbock’s family and friends."

"Sixteen years on they still need to know what happened to Stuart on that night, how he was injured, and who is responsible for his death.

"A small number of people know the answers to those questions and over the years loyalties change and somebody may want to help us at this time."

– Essex Police

It has been reported that Michael Barrymore, whose real name is Michael Parker, was seeking damages of more than £2 million claiming the arrest destroyed his television career.

Essex Police argued in the High Court that Mr Barrymore could have been lawfully arrested by another officer, meaning that only an award of nominal damages should be made, rather than the "substantial" sum sought by the star.

The judge ruled that there was "information available to the police that could have provided an arresting officer with reasonable grounds for a lawful arrest".

But he added that "there was only one designated arresting officer who had sufficient information and had been sufficiently briefed to enable her to arrest Mr Parker lawfully".

It has been reported that Michael Barrymore was seeking damages of more than £2 million claiming the arrest destroyed his television career. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Essex Police said the designated arresting officer who did have the required knowledge to make a lawful arrest was stuck in traffic.

In a statement police said: "For operational reasons it was not desirable to postpone the arrest which was co-ordinated with the arrest of two other suspects."

"The judgement is clear that the officers leading the investigation in to Stuart Lubbock’s death had reasonable grounds to suspect Mr Parker had raped or murdered Mr Lubbock at his home address and had reasonable grounds for believing that it was necessary to arrest him.

"It is acknowledged that the threshold for forming this suspicion is low and falls far short of that required to charge or convict a person.

"The judgement also states there was clear evidence of a violent assault which may have been rape and that Mr Parker was one of a small and closed group of people who could have committed the assault."

– Essex Police statement
Essex Police say they are still seeking answers over the death of Stuart Lubbock in 2001.

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