Michael Barrymore paid off two witnesses not to give evidence over pool

first_imgThe Essex Police representative said police had to act when new witnesses came forward offering more information into the death.The court was also taken through evidence from the 2002 inquest from a series of experts who said it was possible Mr Lubbock was dead before he entered the swimming pool. The hearing is a result of Barrymore being arrested and questioned following the discovery of the body of Stuart Lubbock in a swimming pool at his Roydon home in 2001Credit:PA He left his own home before the police arrived at his home which Mr Beggs said was a “suspicious thing to do”.He said: “If you ask the man on the Clapham Omnibus, if someone at your party died, how many would say they would leave the scene?””The claimant bought himself two hours thinking time before he was questioned by police.”Mr Beggs QC said: “A more experienced detective could have lawfully arrested him there and then for leaving the scene.”The court was briefly taken to an intelligence report, which contained an anonymous tip received by the police during their investigation.Reading from the report, Mr Begg said: “At 5am in the morning of Mr Lubbock’s death, Johnathan Kenney called Mike Brown on a mobile and told him what had happened. “He said ‘clean up the house’ and the police were called after this was done.”Still reading from the intelligence report, Mr Beggs added: “Two people had been paid off by Michael Barrymore to not give evidence against him.” Police had “reasonable grounds” to arrest Mr Barrymore in connection with Mr Lubbock’s death, the High Court was told on Thursday.An extract from a police intelligence report read to the hearing by a barrister representing the force alleged that: “Two people had been paid off by Michael Barrymore to not give evidence against him.”Mr Barrymore, Jonathan Kenney and Justin Merritt were all present when Mr Lubbock died at the TV star’s home in Roydon, Essex.Post-mortem tests found Mr Lubbock had suffered severe internal injuries and toxicology revealed ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol in his bloodstream.Essex and Thurrock Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded an open verdict into the 31-year-old butcher’s death at an inquest in 2002.Mr Barrymore – along with Mr Kenney and Mr Merritt – was later held on suspicion of rape and murder in 2007. None of them were charged. Essex Police has accepted liability and that the arrest was unlawful. But the force claims their liability was on a technicality as they sent the wrong officer to make the arrest. The force claims officers did have “reasonable grounds” to suspect Mr Barrymore of murder and rape, and to believe the arrest was necessary for an effective investigation.They argue he should only be entitled to a nominal damages of just £1.Today, the High Court heard the closing submission of John Beggs QC, representing Essex Police.He said: “There was potentially a very serious crime, the most serious of crimes in this case, namely murder, and we say it was reasonable to suspect it was preceded by another serious crime, namely rape.”He added: “You don’t need to know there was a murder, you have to suspect there was a murder. If you have a dead body of a healthy person, that is a reason to suspect murder.”He told the court that there still was not explanation as to what happened Mr Lubbock.Mr Beggs QC said: “With this claimant, he has never given a cogent explanation as how a young man was so seriously injured in a confined space with so few people present.” Mr Beggs linked the extract from the report to the Stephen Lawrence case, where investigating officers received criticism for not following up on anonymous tips which could have helped their investigation. Michael Barrymore paid off two witnesses not to give evidence against him after the death of a man found in his swimming pool, a court heard.The 65-year-old entertainer is suing Essex Police for £2.5 million over his arrest on suspicion of the rape and murder of Stuart Lubbock who was found dead at his mansion in 2001.But the force, which has accepted liability on a technicality, claims that the former Strike It Lucky host should only receive nominal damages of £1. The hearing is a result of Barrymore being arrested and questioned following the discovery of the body of a butcher in a swimming pool at his Roydon homecenter_img Stuart Lubbock, 31, who was found dead in Michael Barrymore's swimming pool  Barrymore’s house at Roydon in EssexCredit: John McLellan Mr Beggs added: “This was not a mansion as the media have claimed. It was a moderate cottage, with narrow physical confines.”There were very few people at the property. It was no bigger than a dinner party of nine people, not 160. If there had been 160 persons present and 140 had no idea what went on that might not be very suspicious.”But we have eight survivors, and at no point, not one can offer a single explanation.”The court also heard shortly after Mr Lubbock’s body was discovered Mr Barrymore left the property over fears the press would turn up.However, Mr Beggs said: “After he has been found, others were seen trying to help him, giving him CPR. The claimant was seen rummaging through drawers and he is observed carrying something under his arm.”His counsel says he was just carrying a jumper. The simple position is the police never discovered, they can’t know, what he removed.” Barrymore's house at Roydon in Essex Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. He also argued police were right to look into previous allegations made against Barrymore as a bad character, including one involving the alleged sexual assault of a prostitute.Mr Beggs QC said: “This was distinctly relevant. It was the voyeuristic sexual assault involving rough sexual relations with a female being watched.”He added: “It would have been neglectful not to have regard to that.”In conclusion, Mr Beggs QC said: “We ask you to concluded there were ample grounds to constitute reasonable suspicion.”The hearing continues. Stuart Lubbock, 31, was found dead in Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool Credit: Ferrari Press Agencylast_img

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