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Bid for new inquest into death at Michael Barrymore home blocked

The father of Stuart Lubbock hoped to win a fresh inquest to resolve the mystery surrounding the 2001 death.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright has blocked a bid for a fresh inquest into the death of Stuart Lubbock, who was found dead at the home of entertainer Michael Barrymore in 2001.

Mr Wright declined to provide his authority for an application to be made to the High Court by Mr Lubbock’s father Terry, after deciding that there was no new evidence likely to overturn the open verdict returned at the original inquest in 2002.

An application for a fresh inquest may be made only with the authority of the Attorney General, who provides it only if he is satisfied there is sufficient evidence to offer a reasonable prospect of the Court ordering a new inquest.

Announcing his decision, Mr Wright said: “I offer my deepest sympathy to the family of Stuart Lubbock for their loss, but, as disappointing as it will be for the family, it would not be right to pass this matter to the High Court when the tests for a new inquest are not met.”

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Barrymore party death

Stuart Lubbock was found floating face down in the pool at Mr Barrymore’s luxury home in Roydon, Essex, on March 31 2001. The 31-year-old butcher had been one of a number of people attending a party there.

Medical experts told the 2002 inquest in Epping that he had suffered severe internal injuries, suggesting he may have been the victim of a serious sexual assault.

Alcohol, cocaine and ecstasy were found in his system.

Mr Barrymore, who was one of the biggest TV stars of the 1980s and 1990s with shows like Strike It Lucky, Barrymore and My Kind Of People, was arrested in 2007 on suspicion of rape and murder.

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Barrymore

Essex Police later admitted his detention was unlawful as the arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to suspect the performer was guilty. 

The force was ordered to pay damages to Mr Barrymore, who said the arrest had destroyed his career.

Terry Lubbock launched a bid for a new inquest last year, claiming new evidence was available which might lead to a different result.

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Barrymore

In a statement released on Thursday, Mr Wright said he had concluded that none of the grounds of challenge set out in the application had a reasonable prospect of success.

“As there is no fresh evidence that will likely lead to a different outcome being recorded on the inquisition he would not be able to provide his authority for the applications to be made to the High Court,” said the statement.

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