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The 'explosive dossier' that forced police to re-open their investigation into Stuart Lubbock’s death - News of the World article 2006

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The 'explosive dossier' that forced police to re-open their investigation into Stuart Lubbock’s death - News of the World article 2006

Post by Tony Bennett on 19.06.17 16:35

At least some of my dossiers force the police to act!  winkwink winkwink


This was the News of the World article, published in December 2006, that contributed substantially to the arrest in June 2007 of Michael Barrymore, Jonathan Kenney and Justin Merritt on suspicion of murdering Stuart Lubbock.

I am hoping that our submission to the Essex Coroner applying for a fresh inquest will be ready in the next few weeks.     


NEWS OF THE WORLD, DECEMBER 2006

The explosive dossier that forced police to re-open their investigation into Stuart Lubbock’s death

EXCLUSIVE BY PHIL TAYLOR, ASSOCIATE EDITOR.


TODAY the News of the World uncovers the explosive dossier that forced police to re-open their investigation into Stuart Lubbock’s death at Michael Barrymore’s home.

Following our expose that key witness Kylie Merritt had lied to the inquest, detectives are now investigating EIGHTEEN lines of inquiry.

They are also focusing on TEN startling contradictions between the statements of Barrymore and five guests at his fatal drug-fuelled party.

And campaigning father Terry Lubbock insists his legal team’s devastating analysis - which landed on the Essex Chief Constable’s desk - shatters Barrymore’s claim that Stuart accidentally drowned in his pool after a party in 2,001.

Now we can we reveal how FIFTEEN detectives are working full-time to solve the case after a police review accused cops of bungling the original inquiry.

And Lubbock’s legal team say they have provided police with “compelling evidence” that Stuart was the victim of a violent sexual assault at the star’s home, was never in the pool and that the “drowning” was a cover-up.

Lubbock’s lawyer Tony Bennett held a confidential meeting with Detective Superintendent Gareth Wilson, who is the leading the new inquiry, at the major investigations unit in Old Harlow on Thursday.

Last night Bennett revealed: “I was informed there are now 15 dedicated officers working full-time on the Lubbock case and they are following 18 new lines of inquiry.

“Police are briefing the Coroner about developments and have spoken to her a number of times.”

Revealing how his team unearthed their damning dossier now being probed by police, he said: “After the News of the World revealed Kylie Merritt had lied to the inquest, we started a painstaking nine-month analysis of all the witness statements.

“It became crystal clear that the massive contradictions and impossibilities within their statements gave the game away.

“After sending our dossier to Essex Police they decided to reopen the investigation.

“There is compelling evidence that Stuart was violently killed at Barrymore’s house, he was never in the pool and that there was a cunning cover-up by those responsible.

“Significantly, Essex Police last month formally changed their description that ‘Stuart was found in the swimming pool at a house in Roydon’ to merely ‘found at a house in Roydon’.

“It was as clear an admission as the Police could possibly make that they now accepted the Lubbock Trust’s case that Stuart was never in Barrymore’s swimming pool.

“We hope that once the police investigation is concluded, the Coroner will have more than enough information to re-open the inquest and find Stuart had been unlawfully killed.”

Dad-of-two Stuart died after a booze and drugs party at Barrymore’s home in Roydon, Essex after meeting the gay star at Harlow’s Millenium nightclub.

A post mortem revealed he had taken cocaine and had suffered severe anal injuries, which pathologists said were caused by a fist or an implement.

Apart from tragic dad-of two Stuart and Barrymore, there were seven others at the party.

They were: 


Barrymore’s then lover Jonathan Kenney, a drag queen who is HIV positive.


Unemployed dustman Justin Merritt and his sister Kylie.

Chef James Futers and his Roydon village friend Simon Shaw.



And Harlow girls Kelly Campbell and Claire Jones.

Lubbock’s legal team have highlighted what they call ‘the missing hour-and-a-half’.

The crucial time Bennett suggests, was between 4.00am to 4.15am, when Stuart and th two men subsequently arrested on suspicion of murder - Kenney and Merritt - are seen together in the jacuzzi with Lubbock - and the ambulance being called at 5.46am.

None of the eight witnesses can give a proper explanation for what occurred during that period.

Kenney and Merritt claimed they went for a jacuzzi with Lubbock. Merritt said he last saw him alive ‘bombing’ in the pool and in high spirits.

Barrymore says he found the body at the bottom of the pool, rushed in to tell Kenney, shouting “help, someone is drowning.”  Merritt says he then immediately called the ambulance.

When the ambulance crew arrived, they found Kenney giving chest compressions and Kylie mouth to mouth resuscitation to Stuart lying at the side of the pool.

Justin Merritt and Kenney were arrested on suspicion of murder, but never charged. An open verdict was recorded at the inquest with the Coroner slamming party guests for their “wall of silence.”

Now Lubbock’s legal team say they have pinpointed these 10 glaring contradictions in the witness accounts:

CONTRADICTION 1: Justin Merritt and Kenney both say they left the jacuzzi together. But while Merritt claims to have seen Stuart swimming in the pool, Kenney says he did not see Stuart in the pool.

CONTRADICTION 2: Merritt describes Stuart as hyperactive, “dive-bombing” and swimming up and down the pool “like an electric eel”. By contrast, Kenney claims that he and Merritt left Stuart “slumped” and “in a stupor” in the jacuzzi.

CONTRADICTION 3: Barrymore said he was the only one to find Stuart in the pool. But James Futers and Simon Shaw claimed they found Stuart on their own, and that Barrymore wasn’t with them.

CONTRADICTION 4: Barrymore initially said that he found Stuart ‘floating’in the pool. Later, after Futers and Shaw had given statements to the Police claiming that they had found Stuart lying at the bottom of the pool, Barrymore changed his story to say he found Stuart ‘floating at the bottom’ - a phrase which has baffled Terry Lubbock ever since.

CONTRADICTION 5: Barrymore says he saw Stuart floating ‘FACE UP’ and stared into his eyes (though six feet under water). But Kenney told Police that he found Stuart in the pool floating ‘FACE DOWN.’

CONTRADICTION 6: Barrymore sounded the alarm claiming that he saw Stuart at the bottom of the pool. Yet as the party guests rushed out onto the patio, they found Stuart already laid out on the pool-side. There was simply no way, say Lubbock’s legal team, that Stuart could have been pulled out of the swimming pool in the few seconds available.

CONTRADICTION 7: Futers and Shaw even contradict each other about how Stuart was found. Futers says they walked down DIFFERENT sides of the pool before Stuart was found. Shaw says they walked together down the SAME side of the pool.

CONTRADICTION 8: Shaw says he dived into the pool to pull Stuart out of the water. But, incredibly, he says he can’t remember who helped him pull out the 12-stone body onto the poolside.

CONTRADICTION 9: Futers says he helped to get Stuart’s body out of the pool. Kenney says it was him, not Futers.

CONTRADICTION 10: Barrymore said in his evidence to the Coroner that he “saw Futers and Shaw jump straight into the pool while I ran in and got more help”. But under cross-examination by the Lubbock family barrister, he then admitted he DIDN’T see them. Barrymore later told the barrister: ‘Well I didn’t stand around to wait to see them dive in.”

Here is what Barrymore and Kenney told Essex Police from their initial statements.

BARRYMORE ‘Body was floating face UP.’

“I went out into the pool area ... I looked into the pool and saw a young man floating in the pool face UPWARDS. I ran inside the house and called for Jonathan who I know to be a trained lifesaver ...”

KENNEY ‘Body was floating face DOWN.’

“Stuart Lubbock, Justin Merritt and I sat in the jacuzzi for at least 20 minutes. Then Justin and I went back inside the house and into the master bedroom. I had time to dry myself, warm up and dress. Shortly afterwards I heard a female voice shout that there was a male floating in the swimming pool. I ran outside and found a male floating face DOWN in the pool ...”

Barrymore maintains that when he rushed into the house, Stuart’s body was six feet down in the pool, face upwards.

In his second statement given to Police on May 30, 2001 Barrymore said: “I immediately ran back into the house in order to get help ... I rushed into the bedroom and screamed at Jonathan ... Jonathan and Merritt immediately responded and they rushed past me towards the pool ..”

Yet, as Kenney and Merritt rushed out just seconds later, Merritt says he didn’t see a body in the pool. It was, he says, already on the poolside.

JUSTIN MERRITT told police: “Someone came into the room and said ‘someone’s drowning’. At this point, I jumped off the bed and ran out. I saw Stuart laying by the side of the pool ...”

Simon Shaw gave a gripping account to police of how he heroically dived in and pulled Stuart’s body from the pool.

But Lubbock’s lawyers say it is not credible that he can’t remember who helped him get Stuart’s 12-stone body out of the pool in what must have been the most unforgettable moment of his life.

Shaw told police: “I took in some air and dived to the bottom of the pool keeping my eyes open.

“I grabbed hold of the person by one of the arms and then in an arm hold, I gripped the neck. I tried to lift him up, but I found the person heavy and then he slipped through my hold.

“I was now running out of air and swam back to the top. I took in more air and dived down to the person again. Then, somehow, I managed to lift him up.


“I then swam to the top, holding the male person. Someone - I do not know who - grabbed hold of me and pulled me to the side of the pool.

“I continued to keep a hold on Stuart and with the help of someone - I do not know who - I managed to lift the person out of the pool. I pushed, while the other pulled.”

Now Lubbock’s legal team have contacted three pathologists involved in the case, asking them to look again at their findings in the light of their claims that Stuart was probably never in the pool.

Barrymore, 54 - who bounced back on Celebrity Big Brother - continues to maintain Stuart’s death was a “tragic accident” in his new autobiography and denies any knowledge of how he suffered his internal injuries.

He insists they happened away from his house and may have been inflicted at the hospital. But a year-long police investigation ruled that out.

The four pathologists in the case were all told an Essex Police briefing on December 11, 2001 that Stuart “had been seen swimming in the pool earlier in the night” and had “been found in the pool.”

Bennett said: “It was hardly surprising, therefore, that the pathologists had to consider drowning as a possible cause of death.

“But the now-discredited Dr Michael Heath, who carried out the initial autopsy, was the only one to give “immersion” as the possible cause of death.

“The others said the cause of death was ‘unascertainable’ and were highly sceptical about whether Stuart had drowned.”

Dr Heath has since resigned from Home Office work after a discplinary tribunal ruled that he bungled two other murder cases.

Two other pathologists found clear signs of asphyxiation - tiny blood spots on Stuart’s face which pointed to suffocation, not drowning.

All four pathologists concluded Stuart’s severe internal injuries were caused by a fist or other hard object being forcibly inserted into the anus.

Professor Jack Crane and Dr Ian Calder both noted that the main features normally associated with drowning were absent.

Dr Calder, an expert in drownings, tellingly said: “In my opinion, the lungs are not typical of drowning. They have not got the characteristic description; the bulging, they have not got the crossing over the midlines, they have not got the dilatation. The other thing is, they are very heavy ... each weighs over a kilogram - which is not a feature of drowning. Those lungs are very, very heavy - much too heavy for drowning. Also it was witnessed that a lot of water came out of the mouth ... we did not have the typical froth within the airways.”



Professor Crane said: “The difficulty I had in this case was, on looking at the autopsy findings, that the typical findings of drowning were not present; the lungs were not ballooned, there was no ‘tenacious foam’, they did not have a firm crepiant texture as you examine them ... I am unable to say that this person drowned.”

On the blood spots found on Stuart’s face, Professor Crane stressed: “Petechiae are not a feature of drowning. I cannot think of one drowning where I have seen Petechial haemorrhages. If they are present they may be an indicator of some form of asphyxial process, either compression of the neck, or obstruction of air passages, such as the mouth and nose.”

Detectives are now investigating claims that Stuart was dead up to an hour before the ambulance was called, giving time for a clean-up operation to take place.

Bennett said: “The massive contradictions in the witness statements point unerringly to a cover-up.

“It is clear that Stuart had received shocking injuries to his anus from a violent, sexually motivated attack.

“We are convinced the drowning was a cover-up and we are determined to bring Stuart’s killers to justice.”


ends

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Re: The 'explosive dossier' that forced police to re-open their investigation into Stuart Lubbock’s death - News of the World article 2006

Post by BlueBag on 20.06.17 9:24

Good luck Tony.

Outstanding work.
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Re: The 'explosive dossier' that forced police to re-open their investigation into Stuart Lubbock’s death - News of the World article 2006

Post by Truth4Maddie on 20.06.17 19:02

Good luck with this Tony & huge respect for persevering through this arduous case along with many others, you are a huge credit & asset to this forum & way beyond.

I will be following the progress of this intently.

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Re: The 'explosive dossier' that forced police to re-open their investigation into Stuart Lubbock’s death - News of the World article 2006

Post by worriedmum on 20.06.17 20:54

Tony I applaud your tenacity, compassion and your commitment to the course of Justice.
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