Elizabeth J. Bond returns to the case of the murder of Stuart Lubbock, debunks myths about what happened that night and slams Michael Barrymore and his shameful supporters
It has recently come to my attention that the disgraced TV personality Michael Barrymore still has a number of high-profile friends and supporters. They include Fiona Phillips who has repeatedly defended him on social media – both before and after the 2020 documentary on the death of Stuart Lubbock at Barrymore’s Essex home aired.
Even worse are boorish broadcasters Alex Belfield and Steve Allen. They have both attacked Stuart’s late father Terry, accusing him of not being able to accept his son was gay and of “droning on” about this tragic case.
Some might say that such comments are best ignored. However, this is the wrong approach to take as Phillips, Belfield and Allen are people with a considerable following and influence. It is also important to debunk certain myths about what happened that night once and for all. These have unfortunately been repeated as gospel in the press and even in the documentary, which did a major disservice to the case by going with The Body in the Pool as a title.
In essence, there are three main facts that everyone should be aware of.
FACT 1 – STUART LUBBOCK WAS NOT FOUND IN THE SWIMMING POOL
A recording of the 999 call to the emergency services can be heard here. It’s an extraordinary thing to listen to, especially the part where the caller moans to the operator that this happened on the one night he’d been out in four years, but please note the following exchange:
Caller: A fella’s drowned in the pool.
Operator: Are they still in the water, there?
Caller: No. We’ve got them out.
Indeed, when the ambulance arrived, the body was lying beside the pool – not actually in it. This means that NO independent witnesses ever saw Stuart in the pool, and we only have the word of Barrymore and the others present that he was found there.
So, can we trust their testimonies as reliable?
The short answer is: “No.”
Virtually none of the witness statements concurred with each other.
To cite a few examples, Barrymore claimed to have found Stuart’s body in the pool, while Simon Shaw stated that he was the one who made the discovery.
Barrymore also asserted in television interviews that he saw Stuart floating face-up. Yet Jonathan Kenney said that Stuart was face-down. At one point, Kenney went on to say that he and Kylie Merritt managed to drag Stuart out of the pool, but Shaw testified that he and James Futers were the people who retrieved the body from the water.
None of this adds up. We must therefore seriously ask ourselves whether Stuart was ever in the pool at all. Or was this a ruse to cover up the true cause of Stuart’s death?
I urge people to stop saying Stuart was found in the pool. Not just because he wasn’t, but also because it’s important to firmly close the door to the idea that Stuart died following a swim which went wrong.
Which brings us to….
FACT 2 – STUART LUBBOCK DID NOT DROWN
Stuart’s body was subjected to a number of examinations. Of those, only the first one conducted by Dr Michael Heath named drowning as a cause of death – perhaps because Heath had (wrongly) been told that Stuart had been found in a pool. However, the authorities were not satisfied with Heath’s conclusions, hence why further post-mortems were ordered.
Indeed, Heath’s competence as a doctor has been called into serious question. As at the time of writing, he is under investigation by the General Medical Council for a catalogue of errors in several other autopsies. In one instance, a family feared that they had been given the wrong body because Heath’s report contained so many mistakes – including mention of a gall bladder, even though the relative in question had hers removed some years prior.
In any event, none of the other pathologists thought that Stuart had drowned. What they did all agree on was that he had suffered horrific internal injuries. For the benefit of Alex Belfield, I’ll state here that Stuart was not gay. On the contrary, he was well-known locally as a “ladies’ man”.
However, even if he had been gay, there is absolutely no way he could have consented to the act which produced those kinds of injuries. The fourth pathologist, Professor Jack Crane believes that they were serious enough to have induced a heart attack and been the real cause of Stuart’s death. Moreover, the second pathologist, Professor Chris Milroy identified ‘petechiae’ on Stuart’s face, which were consistent with restraint and strangulation while the attack was carried out.
I make no claims as to who was responsible for Stuart’s murder, but there is no doubt that the case has been hampered by the guests maintaining a wall of silence about what occurred that night.
And, in particular…
FACT 3 – BARRYMORE HAS DONE NOTHING BUT HINDER THE INVESTIGATION WITH HIS ACTIONS
In an interview with Piers Morgan, Barrymore stated that the Lubbock family deserve proper answers. This is ironic as none have been forthcoming from him. From the very beginning, Barrymore’s antics have obstructed rather than helped the investigation.
Not only did he flee the scene before the emergency services arrived, but he refused to answer any questions at the inquest. Even worse, when Stuart’s internal injuries were revealed, Barrymore insisted that they had not been inflicted at his house, but by a nurse at the hospital. This was subsequently proven to be nonsense – but he succeeded in derailing the inquiry for two years while police had to investigate his ridiculous claim.
That’s before we get on to some of the lies he’s told – from his assertion that he couldn’t swim (strongly denied by his late ex-wife, Cheryl and others) to giving evasive and contradictory responses when asked whether drugs had been taken that night. Or the fact that he actually sued Essex Police for arresting him, in a failed attempt to gain £2.5 million in compensation.
Above all, if Barrymore genuinely wants to help, then why has he blocked everyone who mentions Stuart Lubbock from his social media accounts? This includes the official @Justice4Stuart Twitter account, The Steeple Times, and Stuart’s ex-wife, Sue Homan.
As Sue herself has said, the disgraced entertainer could assist by simply retweeting an appeal for information, but to my knowledge, he has never done so. A look at his Twitter feed reveals a man more obsessed with reviving his career via TikTok than anything else.
Again, I stress that I make no claims as to who exactly is responsible for Stuart’s murder, but I certainly question why anyone would continue to support Barrymore, given his disgraceful behaviour.
The likes of Fiona Phillips, Alex Belfield, Steve Allen equally need to take a long, hard look at themselves. Shame on the lot of them.