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The evidence that Stuart Lubbock was never in the swimming pool: The lies of Michael Barrymore and his friends

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The evidence that Stuart Lubbock was never in the swimming pool: The lies of Michael Barrymore and his friends

Post by Tony Bennett on 30.12.12 18:00

Over the past three days, three mainstream British newspapers, namely the Mail, the Independent, and the Mail on Sunday, have all published, no doubt at the instigation of Michael Barrymore and his advisers, a one-sided account of his life and troubles.

In amongst these articles there have been frequent references to Stuart Lubbock ‘having been found dead in Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool'. Barrymore even has the gall to claim that he was ‘fitted up’ as in some may responsible for Stuart’s death that night. He was arrested on suspicion of murder, along with Jonathan Kenedy and Justin Merritt, in June 2007.

By way of response, I am republishing one chapter of my book on the Stuart Lubbock case: ‘NOT AWIGHT: Getting Away With Murder’. I’ll post up Chapter 19, which deals with the tissue of lies from the eight surviving witnesses at that so-called ‘party’. It analyses each of their statements, replete with numerous contradictions and changes of story, always a sure sign that the truth is not being told.

Essex Police investigated Stuart Lubbock’s death. They immediately called in the now-discredited former Home Office pathologist, Dr Michael John Heath. He said the cause of death was drowning. But three other top pathologists, all of them hugely better qualified than Heath, between them determined that the cause of death was a combination of:

a) a serious sexual assault
b) asphyxiation (the petechiae on Stuart’s neck and face showed he’d been asphyxiated, not drowned), and
c) a heart attack.

One further point. There was an outside, heated jacuzzi at Barrymore's Roydon mansion, and it was in use that night. Jonathan Kenney, a violent drag queen from Lancashire and Barrymore's lover at the time, and Justin Merritt, enticed Stuart Lubbock into the jacuzzi while Justin's sister Kylie plied him with wine and probably other substances as well. The swimming pool was covered up, but Barrymore and his friends opened it up after Stuart died, which I suggest took place at around 4.15pm to 4.45pm that night. 'Young man drowned in pool' was the chosen line to give to the media. It obvioulsy made better headlines for Barrymore than 'Young man killed at Barrymore's home'. As the recent articles about Barrymore in the mainstream media prove, if you get out a convincing cover story from the outset, it will still be believed years later, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Against that background, here is Chapter 19.

Copyright note: The book is copyright as per the Berne Convention. Reproduction of any part of it for ‘fair use’ is fine so long as my authorship is acknowledged.


Stuart is ‘discovered’ - but they all give different stories

Earlier in the year, The Lubbock Trust published an interim analysis of the death of Stuart Lubbock, titled: “Four different versions of how Stuart Lubbock’s body was found”. Since then, The Trust has further analysed the massive contradictions between the various witness accounts of how Stuart was apparently ‘found’ in a swimming pool.

This further analysis led The Lubbock Trust to write on 31 August 2006 to Essex Police, putting forward the view that, on the available evidence, there was no possibility of Stuart Lubbock ever having been in the swimming pool that night, let alone thrown into the pool after he had died, as some suggested. Part of our letter is reproduced as an appendix to this chapter.

It was a devastating analysis of a hitherto unsolved case - and Essex Police responded by accelerating and deepening their ongoing review of the case. And on 2 December, they publicly announced what the Lubbock

Trust had been told weeks earlier, that they would, after all, begin a formal re-investigation into the death of Stuart Lubbock.

They told The Lubbock Trust in confidence about 18 new and promising lines of enquiry and notified us of several additional recommendations about the conduct of future investigations of suspicious deaths and murders. These ‘non-investigative’ recommendations for changes in procedures reflected many mistakes, some of them serious, in the conduct of Essex Police’s original investigation. Some of these mistakes we discuss in the conclusion to our book.

At the time of writing, that original Essex Police investigation is currently being investigated by Mehmuda Mian Pritchard, Regional Commissioner for the Independent Police Complaints Commissioner (IPCC), as the result of Terry Lubbock’s formal complaint to the IPCC made on 4 December last year.

So let us now conclude our analysis of this case by examining in depth the strange and conflicting stories of how the various witnesses at the party claim that Stuart’s body was ‘found’, at around 5.46am that fateful morning.

As we analyse all the material surrounding the ‘discovery of Stuart’, we’ll be focussing on five key aspects of the evidence:

1) do the accounts of how Stuart was ‘found’ match up? After all, the discovery of a body by someone would be a pretty memorable event in their lives - and if Stuart’s body really was found by more than one person, then their recollections should agree with each other - always allowing for minor discrepancies, and the fact that witnesses may have slightly different perspectives of the same event.

2) was the ‘rescue’ of Stuart from the pool in the way described actually possible? We will look carefully at the various accounts of how witnesses claim that Stuart’s body was hauled out of the swimming pool.

3) do the accounts of what happened immediately after Michael Barrymore sounded the alarm tally with each other - and do they correspond with the accounts of those who claim to have actually ‘found’ Stuart?

4) what can we learn from Michael Barrymore’s own words about how he claims to have ‘found’ Stuart? Barrymore has always maintained, from Day One, that it was he alone who ‘found’ Stuart’s body. We’ll look especially carefully at all that he has ever said about this ‘discovery’ of his.

5) are the accounts of those who claim to have seen Stuart Lubbock swimming in the pool earlier that night credible? Are the people who claim to have seen Stuart swimming in the pool witnesses who can be relied on at all?

We will carry out our analysis by combing through what each of the eight witnesses says about the moment Stuart was ‘found’ and the events that immediately followed.

Justin Merritt’s account

We’ll start with the account given by one of the two men arrested on suspicion of murder - Justin Merritt.

In Justin Merritt’s first statement, taken by the police on 31 March, he makes no reference at all to what happened after he came out of the Jacuzzi (he was later to claim to police that he had seen Stuart Lubbock swimming energetically in the pool). He simply states: “Approximately one hour [after coming out of the jacuzzi], I was sitting in the bedroom talking to John [Kenney] when someone [he cannot remember who] came in to the room and said: ‘someone’s drowning’ or words to that effect”.

Most strange that he apparently can’t remember who.

Justin Merritt then says that John Kenney ‘jumped off the bed’ and ran out of the bedroom, followed closely by himself. Strangely enough, Merritt says that when he followed Kenney outside to the pool area, he saw Stuart

Lubbock ‘already laying by the side of the pool’ with Kylie and John ‘trying to revive him’.

Strange how he hears that ‘someone’s drowning’, yet just a few seconds later, Merritt finds him lying on the poolside. Strange too how the two men are both on the bed together but as they rush off to the pool, Merritt tells us that when he arrives, John is ‘already trying to revive Stuart’. We shall revisit this point several times in the chapter, but let us state the key problem for the witnesses here. How can the alarm be raised by Barrymore - claiming he has just seen a body staring up at him from six feet down in the water - only for Stuart to be apparently found seconds later by Kenney and Merritt (and then others) already on the side of the pool, as they dash out to try and rescue him?

It is just not possible, and casts grave doubt on whether Stuart Lubbock was ever in the swimming pool. And we need to bear in mind also that there is no-one else who corroborates the accounts of Shaw and Futers pulling Stuart out of the pool.

As we will come to in more detail shortly, Simon Shaw, claiming to have been assisted by James Futers, said he had to dive in and take presumably, at the very least, three or four minutes trying to get Stuart Lubbock’s body up from the bottom of the pool and out - allegedly with the help of Futers.

Shaw describes in detail in his statement the efforts he claims to have made, including diving into the pool, losing his hold on the body, and then diving in again after he had come up for air.

If Futers and Shaw are telling the truth about their dramatic ‘rescue’ attempt on Stuart - and we don’t for one moment think they are - then Merritt’s account is clearly not compatible with theirs.

Also, what is Justin’s sister Kylie Merritt doing out there? It seems from Justin Merritt’s account that she was already ‘trying to revive’ Stuart when Merritt reaches the poolside? How did she hear the alarm? Where was she when the alarm was raised? We will look at what she says in a moment.

But we have already seen how Kylie Merritt’s movements during the hour or so before the alarm was raised are shrouded in mystery. In his second statement to the police on 1 April, Merritt says: “I walked out behind him [Kenney]…and saw John leaning over the deceased and my sister giving mouth to mouth. I recall that I telephoned for an ambulance but I cannot recall what telephone I used [in fact, it was his sister’s mobile]”.

Pausing there, to ‘walk out behind’ someone and then ‘find him leaning over the deceased’ is a curious turn of phrase, to say the least, when you stop to unpick it. A more natural turn of phrase would be: “I walked out behind him and then he bent down to attend to the deceased”. Did Merritt really follow Kenney out as he claims?

It does not sound like it. We need another explanation, and we shall come to that. Justin Merritt tells us - and this at least is right - that he ’phoned the ambulance - at 5.46am on his sister’s mobile. Merritt says that he told Claire Jones and one other girl, presumably Kelly Campbell, to put the lights on at the front of the house and go out and wait for the ambulance to arrive. (One wonders if he knew where switches for the front lights were - after all, he claims it was his first-ever visit to the house).

He explains how he spoke to the Ambulance Service controller on the ’phone and relayed the controller’s instructions to his sister Kylie and Jonathan Kenney so that they could ‘revive’ Stuart. If, as we suggest, Stuart was already dead, this was a deeply cynical exercise by all three of them.

There is an interesting contradiction in other statements by Justin Merritt. He says in his second statement to police: “I wasn’t aware that the male [Stuart Lubbock] had taken any drugs”. He also made no mention of Stuart or anyone else drug-taking in his first statement. Later, presumably mainly to get money out of the News of the World - he completely changed his story and said that Michael Barrymore had been using and supplying drugs on the premises. And of course his sister Kylie, in an account which he fully supported, later said that she had seen Michael Barrymore rub cocaine into Stuart Lubbock’s mouth against his will.

The truth about the Merritts’ claim to have seen Michael Barrymore rub cocaine into Stuart Lubbock’s mouth is that they lied. We saw earlier how Kylie Merritt admitted to Phil Taylor of the News of the World and a lie detector expert, Jeremy Barrett, in February, 2006, that she had fabricated this evidence. She had lied to the NOTW and to the Coroner. She blamed her brother for making up this lie in order to get money from the NOTW and excused herself on the grounds that she did not actually speak directly to the NOTW. Maybe.

But we know she was asked and did sign a sworn affidavit confirming that her account was true.

Justin Merritt’s account in the NOTW of how Stuart was found reads:

"We were lounging on the bed chatting, when there was a commotion. Barrymore raced in and said: ‘John. Someone’s floating in the pool’. John and I dashed outside to find Stuart soaking wet and lying on the paving on the right side of the pool near the sunloungers. I don’t know who got him out of the water, but he was lying there flat on his back with his eyes wide open and the back of his head towards the house”.

Pausing there, here is another variation from his other accounts. Now we are told that he and Kenney ‘dashed out’, but Merritt doesn’t tell us this time that when he did so, he saw Jonathan Kenney and Kylie ‘trying to revive him’. As we noted earlier, he could hardly rush out with Kenney yet when he got to the poolside then find Kenney already there bent over Stuart trying to revive him by using CPR. It’s another clue to the fact that his account is fabricated.

We might pause again to examine this statement: “I don’t know who got him out of the water”.

Really? An event as striking and memorable as a body being found on the bottom of the pool, someone diving in, someone struggling to pull Stuart’s 12-stone weight to the surface, then that person getting help from at least one of the others at the ‘party’ to pull him out?

And he ‘can’t remember’ who? Did he not speak to the brave ‘rescuers’? Did he not see how wet they were? Even if he did not see the ‘rescue’, did none of the others tell him who pulled Stuart out of the pool?

Justin Merritt concluded his NOTW account as follows: “All I saw was his face. I’ve never seen a dead body before. I dialled 999. Kenney and I tried to revive Stuart Lubbock until the ambulance arrived. We discovered later that Barrymore had run off into the nearby village”.

We note that Justin Merritt uses the phrase: ‘I’ve never seen a dead body before’. Which more or less tells us that he knew Stuart was dead at this point.

Simon Shaw’s account

Now we’ll move on to look at Simon Shaw’s crucial account. He claims not only to have found Stuart Lubbock in the swimming pool, but also that he single-handedly dived in, tried to pull him up from the bottom of the pool, brought him to the surface on his own, and then - with the help of someone else -got him on to the pool-side. It is a bold claim; let us look closely at what he says. And we’ll see if his claims stack up.

Simon Shaw gives two entirely different versions of how Stuart Lubbock's body came to be discovered.

In his first statement, on 31 March, blatantly concealing the truth, he told the police:

“After staying for a couple of hours, I decided to leave. Not knowing my way around the house [a complete lie, as he’d been there before], I left by the nearest door, which led onto a patio area where there is a swimming pool. At this time I can recall seeing no-one else being on the patio area. I then saw a male in the pool. At first I thought he was swimming, but I quickly realised that he was on the bottom of the pool and I couldn't see him moving. I quickly kicked off my shoes and my trousers and dove [dived] into the pool. I swam down to the bottom and took hold of the male under his chin, using what I remember from my life-saving at school.

“The male was very heavy and I couldn’t get him to the top of the water and I let go of him. I then swam to the top and took a gulp of air. I then went again to the bottom of the pool and took a stronger grasp and pulled the male to the surface. By this time, people had gathered by the side of the pool…”.

Shaw soon admits this account was fabricated. For a start, if you see a body in the water, surely you would rush back in to the house straightaway and get extra help rather than an attempt a very difficult rescue in the dark on your own. Why did he lie? To conceal the truth is the obvious answer.

To try and protect others may be another possibility. Even Essex Police, it seems, didn’t buy a lie of those proportions. Simon was asked to reconsider his account and he gave a different version the very next day. But unbelievably, it seems, Essex Police did buy Simon Shaw’s second account of his bold ‘rescue’ of Stuart’s body. As we’ve already seen, when the police briefed the Coroner and her Assistant and four Pathologists in December 2001, they assumed as a fact that Stuart had been in the swimming pool and had been found by Shaw - even though Shaw’s account of how Stuart was ‘found’ differs wholly from Barrymore’s and in some respects also from the similar account of Futers.

Shaw’s story was seen as one that could be fully relied on, hence the Coroner not bothering to even call him to give evidence to her in person. She apparently had no questions for him. Neither, it seems, did the Lubbocks’ legal team. They all - the police included - allowed his account to go unchallenged. That is one of several mysteries surrounding the Coroner’s Inquest.

In Shaw’s second statement, given a day later, he admits to having lied the previous day. Now he claims that the three of them - he Barrymore and Futers – had decided to go swimming, and that that is how the body just happened to be found at about quarter to six - by him, he maintains again.

If their story is right, what would have happened if they hadn’t gone out for a swim? Are the three of them seriously suggesting that by around 5.45am no-one had yet twigged what had happened to Stuart? Are we supposed to believe that not one of them had even asked the question: ‘What’s happened to that bloke who was drinking the After Shock?’

The whole account beggars belief, not to mention the impossibilities of the claimed ‘rescue’ of the body, which we’ll examine in more depth in a moment.

Shaw relates in his second statement that after smoking cannabis with Barrymore, first in one bedroom and then another, for maybe an hour or so, ‘Mr Barrymore invited us to use his swimming pool’. The way he puts it, Barrymore apparently just decided, out of the blue, after puffing away on a cannabis ‘bang’ for maybe an hour or so, to invite Shaw and Futers to go for a swim with him. In a very cold pool at about the coldest time of the morning, in late March, between 5am and 6am - whilst all three were drunk and stoned! It does not make sense and seems plainly to be a ‘cover story’ for how the body was found. It simply does not have the ring of truth about it.

He says: “[Barrymore] left the room and a short while later he returned with shorts for James and I”. This may well be true. But we suggest that Barrymore, Futers and Shaw did not want to go for a swim at this time of the morning.

All three must have known by then that Stuart Lubbock was dead or unconscious, and may have decided - perhaps on Barrymore’s instructions, or someone else’s, to get dressed into swimming trunks as part of an elaborate charade.

However, we can’t be sure that they did all change into their shorts; there is very little supporting evidence from the other witnesses. The fact that Shaw lied when he first spoke to police, coupled with the difficulty we have accepting his graphic account of the ‘rescue’, suggest strongly to us that - if they did indeed change into shorts as they claim - it was to perpetrate a charade.

In a third statement, Shaw elaborates: “After about fifteen minutes [from moving into the second bedroom], the conversation came round to swimming and we all decided to go for a swim. Michael left the bedroom and after a while he returned with some shorts. I got changed in the en-suite into a pair of black shorts. James changed in the bedroom while Michael left. I left my clothes in the en-suite on top of the bed. I saw Michael now standing by the doorway and I recall he had also changed into a pair of light-coloured shorts”.

Shaw is careful this time, unlike in his first account, to bring Michael Barrymore into the picture. Note that Shaw does not say where Barrymore got changed into his shorts, and according to him, Futers and Shaw got changed in separate rooms. This is contradicted by Barrymore’s account, as we shall see later in this chapter.

He goes on: “All three of us then walked across the hall into a corridor, which leads to some patio doors out onto the pool-side. I walked through the patio doors, along with James and Michael. We were all close to one another. As I walked onto the patio area, the pool-side was dark, while there were lights illuminated in the bottom of the pool. This meant you could see into the water. On my previous visits to Michael’s house [he now admits this], I have not used the swimming pool”.

He continues: “I was not aware of anyone else around the pool-side and at the time I could not see anybody inside the pool. I looked into the water. About the same time, James said: ‘What’s that in the pool?’”

“I looked into the pool and saw at the bottom a shape or pattern of some kind. This was about two to three metres in from the edge I was walking towards. I had a second and harder look at the object because at first I could not make out what it was. It then clicked that here was someone lying at the bottom of the pool. I became concerned because the water was calm and I could not see any bubbles coming to the surface. The person was motionless. I heard James shout: ‘Simon, jump in’”.

Shaw carries on with his account:

“I then went quickly to the right side of the pool [which is where Stuart was found, on the poolside, by the ambulancemen) and I approached and jumped in carefully. 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, gripped the neck. It was about now I realised that the person was male and had short hair. I tried to lift him up, but 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. This time I grabbed hold of the person in a similar manner as before, and managed to lift him up. I then swam to the top, holding the male person and recall stretching my right arm out. Someone, [i]I do not know who, possibly James, grabbed hold of me and pulled me to the side of the pool, where I had jumped in. I continued to keep a hold on the male person 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”.

This purports to be a very detailed account, but is it true? Could Simon Shaw really have pulled this body up all on his own? Stuart apparently weighed about 12 stone. We understand that a body, when under water, effectively loses about 25% of its ‘real’ weight under water, so let us say that it was like moving 9 stone. That is still a considerable weight to move on one’s own.

On his own admission, Shaw had drunk to excess that evening and had been smoking cannabis ‘for an hour’: “Whilst at Michael Barrymore’s home, I consumed two large Jack Daniels and Cola and one After Shock. I would say that I was drunk”, he told police.

Earlier on that night The Millennium night-club, he told police earlier on in the same statement: “I may have bought Michael Barrymore drinks at one of the bars. I am unable to clearly remember due to the fact that I had been drinking alcoholic drink that evening and I was fairly drunk. During the evening I would estimate that I consumed about eight double vodkas, two pints of lager and two gin and tonics. These were all consumed prior to visiting Michael Barrymore’s home”.

A double measure is 70 millilitres (about one-eight of a pint); a single measure 35 millilitres. Assuming that when Shaw says he drank two ‘large’ Jack Daniel’s, these were the equivalent of double measures, Shaw therefore admits to consuming 10 double measures and 3 single measures of spirits that night. That’s 805 millilitres, or close on a pint-and-a-half of spirits, never mind the two pints of lager on top. And that’s before we note that most heavy drinkers underestimate their actual consumption.

Was he in a fit state to attempt to carry out such a rescue? All on his own? We know roughly how much Stuart Lubbock had drunk that night and about his recent pattern of drug abuse. With the benefit of hindsight, would it not have been very informative if - immediately after Stuart’s body was found - each of the other ‘party’ guests had also had their blood and hair samples taken, to test their alcohol level, and recent patters of drug abuse?

We only have these details about the victim, not about the potential perpetrators. Perhaps the law and procedures need to be changed to allow this to happen in the future.

Now let us resume with Shaw’s account and probe what he says about those who helped him with this rescue. Someone grabbed him, he says. But he can’t remember who. Someone then helped him haul Stuart out of the pool, he says. Again, he cannot remember who.

Surely, on this most vivid and memorable of occasions, you would remember the next day who was the person who had helped you in this rescue of this body? The person who was holding your arm, the person to whom you were shouting, the person with whom you were struggling to haul a 12-stone dead weight out of the water?

In any such rescue, there would inevitably have been a lot of talking and shouting. We also doubt whether one person (it is claimed to be Futers) alone - even with Shaw allegedly pushing up from below - could have pulled Stuart’s body up out of the water and over the stone or tiled edge on his is own. Also, there were no signs of any abrasion marks on Stuart’s body which would almost inevitably have been seen on his dead body had he - as claimed - been dragged over the stone or tiled edge to the pool.

Yet both Shaw and Futers maintain it was just the two of them who accomplished this ‘rescue’ on their own without anyone else helping. Particularly if it was just Futers, how could he possibly have dragged the body on his own over the edge without leaving a series of abrasions as his torso was dragged over the edge of the pool?

And once again we need to emphasise that such an operation could not possibly have been carried out in the seconds between Barrymore shouting: ‘Help! Someone’s drowning’ and ‘party-goers’ rushing out to find Stuart laid out on the far side of the pool.

Also, for how long could Shaw hold his breath under water? Particularly after drinking heavily and smoking cannabis. For most people, in normal circumstances, it is no more than 20 to 30 seconds. Could he really have dived down six feet, picked up Stuart by an arm, then placed him in a neck hold, then swum upwards and carried the body up to the surface, all in the space of 20 to 30 seconds? It all seems very unlikely.

Shaw continues: “I then got out of the pool and the male person was now surrounded by others who were administering first aid to him”. He then describes the scene before him with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation being attempted on Stuart, heart massage, and a pinky- coloured ‘mucous-type substance’ coming out of Stuart’s mouth. “The smell was awful”, he tells us.

Shaw then tells us why he decided to leave the scene and flee. We might as well see exactly how he puts it:

“As a result of what I did I was out of breath. I felt there was nothing more that I could do. I also felt because the person had been sick he would start breathing normally and recover. Also, the ambulance was coming. Then I went back inside to the bedroom where I had left my clothes and got dressed. I felt cold. I recall the pool water seemed very cold when I jumped in. I was in a hurry to get warm and forgot to take the shorts I was wearing off. I decided to leave because I found what had happened a bit scary. I saw James in the hall and we both decided to leave and go home. Also in the hall was Michael who had also changed into I believe a pair of denim jeans and a T-shirt. I do not recall the colour. I then left the house along with James and Michael. I do not know why Michael came with us. I was not asked to leave the premises. I did go of my own accord. The three of us then walked quickly away from Michael’s bungalow…”

There is one key question about this account. If one has just rescued a person from a possible drowning and one thinks that the person might be alive, why flee the scene? It is also curious how the three men who claimed to have found Stuart are all suddenly to be found together in the hall, all independently of each other - so they say - having, clearly, already decided to flee.

Further, Shaw does not mention the matter of him and Futers trying to persuade a reluctant Kelly Campbell and Claire Jones to leave with them - an attempt that nearly succeeded. Until, that is, one of these two girls apparently said - quite rightly - ‘Why should we leave? We’ve done nothing wrong’.

Exactly. So why did Barrymore, Futers and Shaw leave in a terrific hurry that morning?

Let us put forward a theory - an explanation - that fits the facts much better. We say that a few minutes before the moment that it was planned for Justin Merritt to raise the alarm, Barrymore, Futers and Shaw changed into shorts. It appears they never got them wet - there is no evidence from anyone that any of the three were dripping wet. On the alarm being raised, it seems that Kenney and Kylie Merritt were all in position, attending to Stuart. The plan no doubt was for Barrymore, Futers and Shaw to be briefly seen in shorts, so that - we think - the two girls (Claire and Kelly) not involved in the cover-up could testify to the police, or at any Inquest, that they had seen them in shorts.

Clearly, we say, Barrymore, Futers and Shaw had planned to flee and prepared how this would happened. The flight to Simon Shaw’s girlfriend’s flat was no sudden, panic reaction, to a ‘rescue’.

We say that once it had become clear to the plotters that Stuart was dead or unconscious, and it was clear that a cover story had to be devised, it had been pre-arranged that Kenney and the two Merritts would face the music when the ambulancemen and police turned up, while they fled to Simon Shaw’s flat, hoping against hope to avoid being caught up in the night’s unfolding tragedy.

Shaw goes on to tell police: “I am unable to recall seeing the deceased Stuart Lubbock prior to recovering him from the swimming pool”. The phrase ‘unable to recall’ is curious; we place it with the countless times other witnesses tell the police they ‘cannot remember’ key parts of the night’s events. Why does he not simply say, for example, in very clear terms: “I did not see Stuart Lubbock before recovering him from the pool”?

He also states: “I do not believe that anything was said or done to conceal anything prior to police arrival…” Again, the statement: ‘I do not believe’ lacks conviction and certainty. And we know, of course, that some witnesses confirm seeing Kenney running around the property hiding things, while others saw Barrymore rushing off with a big bundle under his arm.

Finally, let us deal briefly with Shaw’s observation that the water was ‘very cold’. Mike Browne claimed to have measured the water temperature at 23.9 degrees Centigrade (75 degrees F). This would be slightly warmer than the English sea on a warm summers’ day - around 68 degrees F or 20 degrees C. It would be significantly colder than a typical British swimming pool, which is usually around 82 degrees F (28 degrees C). It was an early morning in March with the air temperature around 41 degrees F (5 degrees C).

The temperature of the swimming pool was discussed on the occasion that Terry Lubbock met Michael Barrymore on Saturday, 28 January last year. Terry raised the subject of the swimming pool being very cold, during the discussions that took place after Barrymore and Terry Lubbock had had their private meeting, and they were talking in the presence of Barrymore’s main PR agent, Chrissy Smith. Terry remembers that as soon as the pool and its temperature came up in the discussion, she apparently cut in quickly and insisted, a number of times: ‘The pool was heated’.

Why this repeated insistence, we wonder?

James Futers' account



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Re: The evidence that Stuart Lubbock was never in the swimming pool: The lies of Michael Barrymore and his friends

Post by Tony Bennett on 30.12.12 18:52


James Futers’ account

Now we need to examine carefully the account of James Futers, Simon Shaw’s friend. Earlier, we saw how Futers had he said that after entering Barrymore’s house, his friend Simon got a can of Sprite from the fridge for himself and for James.

Futers in his second statement tells us how he went out to the patio, after a while, ‘to see how warm the jacuzzi was’. He doesn’t say if anyone accompanied him. He says that he saw ‘four’ people in the jacuzzi, but then goes on to say ‘two males and a girl’ - that is, Justin Merritt, Stuart Lubbock and Claire Jones. He doesn’t mention Jonathan Kenney.

The next part of what Futers says in his second statement is interesting and maybe of considerable relevance. He states: “There were no lights outside at this time and the steam from the jacuzzi (NOTE: not from the pool) was making it difficult to see. The swimming pool had a cover on it.

Michael, who had supplied people with Bermuda shorts for swimming in,came out and pushed a button and the swimming pool cover retracted”.

None of the other witnesses actually refers to this alleged retracting of the swimming pool cover.

Let us at this stage point out that, according to our enquiries, it would take some 8 to 10 minutes for this swimming pool cover to retract. If this retraction of the pool took place as Futers said it did, why do we not get any description of it, either from Futers or indeed from anyone else, of the sight of the pool cover slowly retracting?

Also, the issue of when exactly the pool cover was retracted is a key fact to establish. Did anyone else see it? Did guests see the swimming pool uncovered when they arrived? Did anyone (apart from Futers) see Barrymore (allegedly) retract the pool cover? What was the temperature of the water?

Did anyone else think about jumping into the pool as well as into the jacuzzi? Did anyone see steam rising from the pool? The police appear not to have systematically asked the witnesses these important questions. Maybe they did not even want these questions answered.

Futers then adds: “The water was freezing so I decided against swimming”. He says it as though Barrymore flicked the switch and then immediately the pool cover zipped back. It might be more believable if he’d said something like: “Barrymore flicked back the swimming pool cover. I watched the poll cover retract, then tested the water and found it to be freezing”.

Futers reports how he went from the patio to the kitchen, went for a ‘short tour’ of the house with Barrymore, went into the living room, then went with Barrymore and his friend Simon into one bedroom, then another, and started smoking cannabis. Then we come to Futers’ account of the point at which the ‘discovery’ of Stuart’s body occurs.

Futers: “Michael then suggested that we all go and ‘have a jacuzzi’” [NOTE: he does not say ‘have a swim’ as Simon Shaw maintains].

“Simon and I agreed”, he continues, “and Michael gave us some Bermuda shorts to change into. The three of us got changed together in the bedroom”. This is not the same as Shaw’s evidence, as we have seen. It’s another contradiction.

He continues: “Simon and I walked out to the jacuzzi. I was in front and walked straight down to the Jacuzzi [note, this means on the left side of the swimming pool as you walk down - see Plan]. Simon walked around the other side of the pool”. Futers gives us no explanation at all of why Shaw should apparently decide, in the dark, to walk round the other [right] side of the pool. Why doesn’t Shaw simply make straight for the jacuzzi?

If we now carefully compare Futers’ account with Shaw’s, we will recall that Shaw, by contrast, tells us that he and Futers walked down the same [left-hand] side of the pool, only going round to the right-hand side of the pool after they say the body was spotted. Shaw told the police: “I then [after the body is spotted] went quickly to the right side of the pool”.

Can we explain what is happening here? We think we can. In line with our analysis to date, we think that Stuart’s body was already laid out by the far [right-hand] side of the pool when the alarm was raised - and that Stuart was never in the pool. If we are right, the next query is: how did the body get there? To our mind, it points to the attack on Stuart having happened close to the pool or the jacuzzi. Stuart’s unconscious or dead body could not be moved far - not without three or four men carrying it.

We think the attack on Stuart could have been prompted by the sight of Stuart’s lithe, near naked body in the jacuzzi, prompting one or both males near him in the jacuzzi, under the influence of alcohol and sexually stimulating drugs, to be filled with lust towards him. Either an attack on Stuart happened there and then in or near the jacuzzi, or possibly between the jacuzzi and where his body was eventually found (see Plan]. Perhaps he even tried to run away from his attacker(s) on that side of the pool.

Therefore, we say, Futers and Shaw, in planning what to tell police about how they ‘rescued’ the body, had a problem. They had to account for the body ending up on the far [right-hand] side of the pool. They did this by claiming that Stuart’s body was lying at the bottom of the pool near the far side. It also means, significantly, that they had to make out that they had pulled the body over the side of the pool. As we suggested earlier, the more obvious way to get the body out - if it really had been there - would be to walk down the steps into the pool at the shallow end and pull Stuart’s body out at that end. The rescuer, or rescuers, would have been able to use the assistance provided by the three steps. Why didn’t they?

But if they had told police that they had got him out that way, then they would have to account for why Stuart was not laid out at the shallow end at the top of the steps. Hence they were forced into devising a highly improbable account of how Stuart was ‘found’ and ‘rescued’. And though their fabricated stories match in many details, they could not, between them, agree on why Shaw ended up on the right-hand side of the pool.

Then Futers tells us that Simon said to him: “Someone’s down there?” James alleged that he said in reply: “No, that’s someone’s coat or something”. Simon then says: “No, someone’s down there”. Futers then claims he ‘ran around’ to where Simon was and said: ‘Jump in and get him out’. Futers then effectively confirms Simon Shaw’s account of how Shaw dived in, made one attempt to pull Stuart to the surface, failed - as Futers and Shaw let him go - then tried again and finally got Stuart’s body out with the help of Futers.

We may note that Futers makes no mention at all at this stage of Michael Barrymore. He does not tell us whether he or anyone else went to shout for help. There is most definitely no mention of Barrymore’s claim to have been the first to find Stuart.

Futers then explains how they felt for a pulse and couldn’t find one. He then refers to other people ‘coming out of the kitchen’. He says he saw red stuff coming out of his mouth. Futers observes: “I thought this might have been due to the drink”. Yet none of the witnesses say they saw Futers attending to Stuart. When they came out on to the patio, there was simply no sign of him, Shaw or Barrymore.

If they were ever there as thy claimed, they had vanished without trace by now. We suggest that Futers probably did see what he claimed. But earlier on, when it was already apparent realised that Stuart was dead or dying. Futers goes on to claim that he shouted ‘call an ambulance’, and said that he could hear girls screaming. He says he ran back to the house, went to the bedroom and put his clothes on. He says he went to find Simon who was also by this time was back in the house. As soon as he found Simon, he tells police that he said: “Get your clothes on, let’s go”.

This implies that Simon had not yet changed into his clothes. According to Futers’ account, he ran ahead of the others, out of Barrymore’s home, with the two girls walking fast behind him. The girls hesitated, he says, and they then ran back into the house. He then found Michael Barrymore and Shaw coming towards him. The three of them hurried down the road and tumbled into Simon Shaw’s girlfriend’s flat.

‘We should have killed him’

It is as the three men stumbled down the road that Futers tells us of an extraordinary remark made by Barrymore. He said: “We all walked quickly to Simon’s girlfriend’s flat. Simon and I were saying things like ‘sh__’. ‘We’re in deep sh__’.

“Barrymore said something like: “Why didn’t we kill him? If anyone’s going to be in trouble, it’ll be me. It was my house”.

Killed who? Does he mean: ‘Kill the one who attacked Stuart?’ Futers does not tell us. Like many other parts of his second statement, he gives us a few tantalising glimpses of what may have happened. But nothing remotely close to the whole truth.

Jonathan Kenney’s account

Yet another version of events comes from Jonathan Kenney’s first statement. He claims that he and Justin Merritt were in one of the bedrooms [the master bedroom].

He claimed that he had just got out of the jacuzzi and had dried himself, warmed up and dressed. He says, in terms, that when the alarm was raised: ‘Me and Justin were just towelling off’.

Merritt, in his first account, it will be recalled, gave a wholly different version. He said:

“Approximately one hour later, I was sitting in the bedroom talking to John [Kenney] when someone [he cannot remember who] came in to the room and said: ‘someone’s drowning’ or words to that effect”.

This is not just a minor discrepancy. It is yet another major contradiction. And then we saw at the Inquest how Kenney accepted that instead of ‘just towelling off’, he might well have been sitting chatting to Justin Merritt in the master bedroom ‘for two hours’. Such major contradictions by now serve to constantly reinforce our conclusion that the main witnesses are lying about how Stuart died.

Kenney goes on: “Shortly afterwards I heard a female voice shouting there was a male floating in the swimming pool”. We may note that he does not identify Barrymore as the voice, though Barrymore says it was he who ran inside shouting: ‘Help! Someone’s drowning!’.

He then says - contradicting other accounts - “I ran outside and found a male floating face down in the swimming pool towards the far side”. This now makes Kenney is the fourth person who claims to have been there at the poolside amongst those who ‘found’ Stuart in the pool. Except that Kenney - no doubt being unaware of the accounts others were also giving to police at around the same time - is the only one who claims he saw Stuart floating ‘face down’.

Could Kenney have found Stuart ‘floating face down’ while Barrymore, Futers and Shaw say they found him ‘floating at the bottom face up’? Highly unlikely.

Then Kenney tells us that: “With the help of Justin’s sister [Kylie], we were able to drag him out of the water and on to the poolside”.

This is quite extraordinary. Kenney is claiming that the two main people to pull Stuart Lubbock’s body out of the water were himself and Kylie Merritt, not Futers and Shaw after all. The reference to ‘we’ having ‘dragged him out of the water’ is somewhat mysterious, though. First, who does he mean by ‘we’? We will take it to mean him and Kylie Merritt.

And what does he mean by ‘dragged’? The visual image we have here is of Kenney and Kylie Merritt ‘dragging’ Stuart’s body over the edge. Many question marks come to mind. How was Stuart ‘dragged’? Was Kylie Merritt strong enough to do it? Dragged over where? - dragged over the stone or tiled side? As we queried a little earlier in the chapter, where are the abrasion marks? Where is the description of the huge difficulty this must have involved for the two of them?

Perhaps above all, where are Futers and Shaw in this account? Where is Simon Shaw, apparently in the cold swimming pool struggling to get Stuart out with the help of ‘the other’?

Futers says it was he and Shaw who got Stuart out of the water. Shaw says it was he and someone who he cannot remember. Once again, his account has all the hallmarks of a complete fabrication.

Kenney then adds information about what he did when the body was laid out on the poolside - and whilst they were trying to resuscitate Stuart. He says: “The male was unconscious”. But by all accounts, including the pathology evidence, Stuart was dead at this point. It is interesting to note that Kenney in one of his statements says that he was trying CPR resuscitation on Stuart ‘for about 25 minutes’. Yet on his own account, Kenney could not have begun this CPR on Stuart until around the moment when Justin Merritt called the Ambulance Service at 5.46am.

Just 10 minutes later, the ambulancemen had arrived and they took over the CPR.

That makes a maximum of 10 minutes.

So how come Kenney claims he was giving CPR for as long as 25 minutes? We think there is a very simple explanation. We think Kenney very probably did give CPR for perhaps 25 minutes - but in an earlier, desperate attempt to revive Stuart, after he had been knocked out senseless by the attack on him somewhere around 4.30am. If Stuart had suffered the sexual attack, or had suffocated - which three pathologists thought might be very likely - then no doubt Kenney might have tried frantically to revive him by a method he was familiar with - namely, CPR. This is especially so if he was wholly or partially responsible for the attack on Stuart. That, we think, is what Kenney may well be referring to, albeit unwittingly, when he says he was carrying out CPR ‘for about 25 minutes’.

If we are right, then the act of him and Kylie Merritt trying to perform CPR on Stuart was just for show. But let Kenney continue his story:

“I have a basic first aid qualification and checked the casualty for vital signs. He did not have a pulse and was not breathing. We began to attempt to resuscitate [Stuart Lubbock]. I performed chest compression and told Justin’s sister to breathe for him. We kept this up until the paramedics arrived”.

Then Kenney adds: “During our attempt to revive the casualty he was vomiting blood”. Was it in fact blood? Or was it just the pink-coloured After Shock drink? One other witness also says she saw blood coming from Stuart’s mouth. This is important, because it is possible that Stuart’s internal injuries were so severe that he had been coughing up or vomiting blood, either perhaps before he died, or after he died, as his chest was compressed - or both. The witnesses seem divided as to whether it was blood or After Shock.

But it is of more than passing interest to us that one of the prime suspects of the violent assault on Stuart Lubbock - Kenney – declares himself that it is blood that he sees.

Kenney gave the following account of how he found Stuart to the Newsof the World in June 2001. It ran as follows - and begins with himself, Justin Merritt and Stuart Lubbock in the jacuzzi:

“Stuart just sat back and stretched his elbows to the side like he was making himself comfortable. That was my last image of him alive. We probably should have got him out. Me and Justin were just towelling off in the [main] bedroom when Barrymore burst into the [bedroom] shouting: “John. Someone’s floating in the pool. I guess he came to me because he knew that I had training in CPR [cardio pulmonary resuscitation)”.

We must contrast this with what he told police originally - namely:

“…shortly afterwards I heard a female voice shouting there was a male floating”. His earlier recollection of a female voice is now superseded by his apparently clear recall that it was Barrymore who came in shouting. We needn’t bother spending time working out which it was, because quite probably, as we are learning, both were untrue. When the alarm was sounded, we discussed above, Kenney was already bent over Stuart.

Kenney continues in his account to the NOT: “I rushed through the door which leads to the left side of the pool and Stuart was lying on the paving on the right side of the pool, near the sun loungers. I don’t know who got him out of the water but he was lying there flat on his back. I know Michael wouldn’t have got him out, because he’s scared of water [another lie, it seems] and only ever goes in waist deep [also untrue from what we know]. Stuart was lying on his back with his eyes wide open. I’d never seen a dead body before. I worked as an auxiliary nurse for 10 years and I’d seen geriatrics dead, but peacefully. I turned Stuart onto his side but there was nothing there. No breathing or pulse, nothing. So I put him on his back and as I knelt, I tipped his head back, pinched the bridge of his nose to force the air into his lungs and gave him two breaths. I crossed my palms over his rib-cage and pushed down to give him 15 compressions.

“I shouted for someone to dial 999. I didn’t know whether he was dead at that point”.

Let us pause and make a few observations on this account. We will remember that according to the versions of Futers, Shaw, and Barrymore - whose accounts of finding Stuart we shall examine in a moment - Kenney was apparently responding to the discovery of a body ‘floating at the bottom of the pool’. Yet - lo and behold - as he rushes out, he finds the body of Stuart already laid out and resting on the right (far) side of the swimming pool. All Kenney says is that he doesn’t know who got him out of the water. That of course contradicts his rather graphic first account how ‘with the help of Justin’s sister, we were able to drag him out of the water and on to the poolside’.

If we are to believe Kenney’s NOTW account, he rushes out, and there is the body, lying there on its own, unattended.

We may also note that Kenney now describes Stuart simply as ‘a dead body…no breathing, no pulse, nothing’. Kenney says that shouts out for someone to dial 999. In other versions, Barrymore shouts out for an ambulance. Futers claimed that he had ‘called for an ambulance’, as he and Shaw were rescuing Stuart’.

But in fact, as we know from other evidence, Merritt is dialling 999 inside the house, someone no doubt having given the signal that everything was now as ready as it could be, and that now was the time to call the ambulance.

Was this also the moment when, perhaps, a bucket of water was thrown over Stuart’s dead body to make it look as though he had been in the pool?

Kenney continues: “CPR is that you just carry on until the ambulancemen get there. You don’t just stop. Amidst the chaos, I gradually realised something else was very wrong. Barrymore was missing”.

Pausing there, it was Kenney, as we shall see, who had sufficient presence of mind at this time to tell everyone at the ‘party’ to deny that Barrymore had been at the house at all that evening. We shall learn in the next chapter how Kenney and Barrymore were seen by various witnesses rushing to get various items removed from the house, or flushed down the toilet, and were generally ‘tidying up’ before the ambulancemen and Police arrived. We can be sure that Kenney knew perfectly well that the plan was for Barrymore to do a runner.

To continue with Kenney’s NOTW article: “I started looking for Michael, then one of the girls said: ‘He left with those two guys down the village. He must have run down the street’. The paramedics burst through the house in a blaze of sirens and lights. They started shocking Stuart with an electrical charge. I didn’t know where the outside light switch was, so I held a torch over Stuart until they told me not to [NOTE: it was still dark. Maybe this was the same torch that Barrymore had been seen using earlier that night].

The police were already searching the garden for clues. Then they asked me whose house it was and where Michael was. I didn’t know. I said: ‘He has no stamina at all. He’s a coward’”.

We might note that it was so dark outside that a torch was needed by the ambulancemen when they arrived, yet Barrymore, as we shall see in the next section, claimed to have ‘stared long and hard’ into Stuart Lubbock’s eyes - with him being, allegedly, six feet below the surface of the water.

Michael Barrymore’s accounts

Michael Barrymore has always proclaimed that it was he, having been inspired to take an early morning dip in his jacuzzi or swimming pool, that was the first to discover Stuart Lubbock in his pool - and sound the alarm.

So let us put his various accounts under the microscope.

His first account comes in a very short statement he gave to the police on 31 March and runs as follows:

“I stayed in the house. I do not know how much time had passed, but I decided to go into the jacuzzi [NOTE: he does not say the swimming pool].

I went out into the pool area, the garden patio was empty. I looked into the pool and saw a young male floating in the pool face upwards. I ran into the house and called for Jonathan who I know to be a trained life-saver. Jonathan ran out and I saw him pull the male from the pool…”

Let us now see how in just how many ways Barrymore’s account differs from the others we have looked at so far.

There are at least five main points.

First, in this initial Barrymore version, he claims that it was he who found Stuart Lubbock, not anyone else. James Futers claimed that he and Simon Shaw together found the body. But - as was picked up by the Coroner and by the Lubbocks’ barrister, he makes no mention at all of either Futers or Shaw being with him. How he was to change that story as time progressed!

A Daily Mail report on 4 September 2001 [reporting on the Inquest] said: “Both men [Shaw and Futers] contradicted Barrymore, who on Thursday insisted he was the first person to spot the body in the pool. Mr Shaw said: ‘Mr Barrymore was not there when we found the body’”. As time went on, the stories of the three men were to converge somewhat. But it is apparent that their original accounts were wholly contradictory - incapable of being reconciled.

Barrymore even emphasises that it was he alone, and that there is no Futers and Shaw: “The garden patio was empty”. If the account of Futers and Shaw that all three of them got changed and all three decided to visit the jacuzzi was true, surely Barrymore would mention this when he first talks to the police? But he does not.

Third, Barrymore says explicitly: ‘floating in the pool face upwards’. He makes no mention of Stuart being found at the bottom of the pool, as is claimed by Futers and Shaw and as Barrymore states later.

The natural interpretation of this account is that Stuart Lubbock’s body was floating on top of the swimming pool.

Fourth, Barrymore says he finds Stuart floating face upwards whilst Kenney says he was floating face downwards.

Fifth, and here we have yet another absolutely blatant contradiction with other accounts, we have this plain statement: “I saw Jonathan pull the male from the pool”. Barrymore’s remarkable claim to the Police when he talks to them on 31 March 2001 is that Kenney has pulled 12-stone Stuart out of the pool all on his own!

Yet Barrymore claims he has always told police the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and of course earlier that day Essex Police were positively gushing with statements about how ‘helpful’ Barrymore and his PA Mike Browne had been to them.

Not even Kenney himself ever had the audacity to claim that he pulled Stuart out alone. And, of course, Futers and Shaw say it was they that pulled Stuart out.

Each witness we examine is seen to tell a wholly different story. And most of the witnesses change the stories as time goes on. Barrymore is no different.

Now we are in a position perhaps take this all a stage further. What do the witnesses see as Barrymore sounds the alarm? What happens?

According to Claire Jones and Kelly Campbell, they see Kenney and Kylie Merritt providing CPS to Stuart on the far side of the pool. Justin is seen on a mobile ’phone. What of Barrymore, Futers and Shaw? Already, they are nowhere to be seen. In fact, there is no sighting by any other witness of any of the three of them around the pool at all. If they did ever change into shorts, it appears they are all still in the house, or have run back in the house, and are getting changed. There are seen briefly by some of the others in the house shortly after this. But no-one says that either Futers or Shaw is wet.

Did the witnesses confer after Stuart’s death? Barrymore and Kenney, as we shall see, had been whisked off by Barrymore’s PA Mike Browne to The Priory Clinic at Marchwood, Southampton. There would be plenty of time for Barrymore, Kenney and Browne to concoct an agreed version of what happened. We think that to some extent this may well have occurred, though Barrymore and Kenney were soon not talking to each other.

We think it virtually certain that Futers and Shaw conferred with each other within 24 hours to agree their accounts of the ‘rescue’ - and in turn we have seen evidence that they conferred with Barrymore, with Futers twice meeting Barrymore in August 2001, apparently to discuss Barrymore’s worries that Futers’ story of certain matters didn’t tally with his.

But if there were these consultations between these lying witnesses, they still did not between them produce anything like a believable account of how Stuart was found in the swimming pool.

In Barrymore’s second statement to the police, made in writing on 30 May, and in other pronouncements since then to the press and TV, he has always tenaciously maintained that he was the first to see Stuart and that he found him ‘lying face up in the deep end’ and ‘floating at the bottom of the pool’ - that peculiar phrase which no-one can make any sense of.

Had he perhaps been told, by then, by his long-standing friends Futers and Shaw, that they had claimed in their Police statements to have rescued Stuart’s body from the bottom of the pool? If so, he had to get his thinking cap on quickly to match his earlier expression ‘floating in the pool’ with Futers’ and Shaw’s description of how they found him ‘lying on the bottom’.

No doubt Barrymore had legal help. Hence Barrymore’s contrived expression: ‘floating at the bottom’.

We’ve spoken to countless people about how they would describe an item they could see at the bottom of a pool. Everyone we have spoken to says ‘lying on the bottom’. Not one says: ‘floating on the bottom’. It’s another vital clue to the hoax being perpetrated by the witnesses.

Barrymore claimed at the outset that he was on his own when he found Stuart and has, ever since, said he was the first to do so. But at the Coroner’s Inquest, and on occasions when he has been forced to discuss Stuart Lubbock’s death in T.V. interviews, he has given a rather garbled account of how ‘James and Simon were there as well’ - though when pressed on the detail, as we saw at the Inquest, his recollection is hazy and confused. As happens when you make things up.

Kylie Merritt’s account



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Tony Bennett

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Re: The evidence that Stuart Lubbock was never in the swimming pool: The lies of Michael Barrymore and his friends

Post by Tony Bennett on 30.12.12 20:06

CHAPTER 19 CONTINUED: Part 3 (concluding part):

Kylie Merritt’s account

Now we come to the account of the person we say is the sixth co-conspirator, Kylie Merritt. Let us see how her account matches, or differs, from the others.

Her first statement is made on 31 March. It’s a short, spare account, but her evidence has played a key part in this case and we need to consider it carefully. Here is her initial account of how she both sees Stuart swimming earlier in the night, and then, later, was present at the poolside just after Stuart was ‘found’:

“After a while, Justin, Jonathan and ‘Male 1’ (Stuart) who arrived with us decided to go to the Jacuzzi which is located in the rear garden…Michael and the other two males [Futers and Shaw] and the girls stayed inside, I think we were in the kitchen, this room is located in front of the glass doors which lead to the patio area and swimming pool. At some stage, I recall going out to the swimming pool. ‘Male 1’ was swimming and I recall him throwing his hat at me. I threw it back into the pool and he was messing around in the pool. It is not clear what happened next, but I recall coming back into the house. ‘Male 1’ was quite loud, and so I was going to shut the back doors, but did not. I cannot recall who else was outside with him, but Michael and the girls were inside. Whilst I was in the kitchen, something happened”.

Kylie Merritt mentions Stuart ‘swimming’. We take this to mean swimming in the pool. The phrase ‘I cannot recall who else was outside with him’ strikes us as curious. If we try to interpret it, we think she is referring to a time when she knows Stuart is outside in the garden with one or more others.

We also note she says she is in the kitchen when ‘something happens’. She continued: “I remember someone shouting: ‘Quick!’. I ran out to the pool and saw ‘Male 1’ [Stuart] who was now only wearing trunks laying on his back. Jonathan was kneeling over the male. He shouted for someone to call an ambulance. I ran out to them and Jonathan told me to ‘go in’. I said: ‘No, I can handle it’. Jonathan was trying to resuscitate him by pressing on his chest and I went over to assist. I tried blowing air into his mouth, the incident was a blur but I recall Justin being on a mobile ’phone to the ambulance and shouting instructions. The two girls were at the back doors but I could not tell you where anyone else were. Sometime later, the ambulance arrived and I recall them asking us to find a torch…The whole incident is still a blur and I cannot give any times or other information at this time, I am still shocked and distressed…”.

She made a longer statement the following day. She now says: “I noticed that Michael was in one of the rooms, I can’t remember which one, but it may have been a bedroom, standing chatting to [Futers and Shaw]. I had a brief conversation with him…I returned to the kitchen, and then the Jacuzzi area where I chatted to Jonathan and Justin. ‘Male 1’ was now in the swimming pool, swimming around. ‘Male 1’ then took of his baseball cap and threw it on the side towards me. I picked it up and threw it back at him. ‘Male 1’ put the cap back on and continued to swim around”.

It purports to be a detailed recollection, focussing on the throwing around of the baseball cap whilst Stuart was, allegedly, swimming. We might at this stage make the observation that it would be pretty difficult for the two of them even to see each other, let alone to catch a baseball cap, in the darkness - so dark that the ambulancemen needed a torch when they arrived. There were no floodlights to light up the patio - only lights at the bottom of the pool - and whether the pool cover was actually open at all at this stage of the evening is of course yet another question, which we considered above.

Kylie Merritt then relates further events, claiming she had a couple of drinks, asked Jonathan where to get a T-shirt because she was going to the jacuzzi, changed her mind, had two more drinks in the kitchen; then “Justin and Jonathan came into the kitchen”, Kylie Merritt says she ‘played with the ice maker’. She says: “I assumed that ‘Male 1’ was still in the pool at this time and Michael was still with [Futers and Shaw]. She then claims that “Jonathan, Justin, Claire, Kelly and I stood chatting and joking in the kitchen for some time”. No-one else says this.

Kylie now says that she saw Stuart swimming in the pool a second time. In her words: “Around this time, I wanted to go to the bathroom again and as I did so, I noticed ‘Male 1’ ‘swimming about. He was quite loud, shouting for us to join him in the pool. I asked him if he was O.K., and he said he was. I spoke to my friends again and spoke about closing the door as he was making so much noise…I went to the bathroom…I didn’t close the door”.

If her account is correct, Stuart must have been swimming in that cold pool for a long time - right through the period that she says all five of them were chatting away merrily in the kitchen. No-one else mentionsStuart shouting out in a loud voice. Except, that is Justin Merritt, and we shall come to what he has to say about Stuart swimming in the pool in a special section at the end of our chapter.

At the time the alarm was sounded, she places Justin and Jonathan Kenney in the lounge (they say they were in the master bedroom) and says that she was ‘chatting to Kelly and Kylie’, presumably, though she does not specifically say so, in the kitchen. This time she tells us: “I remember someone shouting about calling for an ambulance. I went immediately outside, passing Futers and Shaw, but I am not sure”.

The rest of the account is broadly similar to her first account, only with a bit more detail about the ‘assistance’ she says she and Jonathan were rendering to Stuart. She adds: “I do not know what happened to Michael or Futers and Shaw”.

What we notice is that as the alarm is raised, i.e. ‘someone’s in the pool drowning’, she tells us she rushes out immediately, and there she finds Stuart on the poolside with Jonathan bending over him. If Barrymore,

Futers and Shaw are right, then as the alarm is sounded, when Kylie Merritt and the girls rush out, Shaw should be somewhere in the pool thrashing about trying to pick up the body of Stuart. Instead, it seems that from this account, they went past Kylie Merritt, presumably on the way to their rapid exit. Also, she does not say anything about Futers and Shaw wearing shorts, or being wet.

Then we have a third statement from Kylie Merritt on 6 June. This time we are told that: “as I was going backwards and forwards to get drinks for Justin and Jonathan in the jacuzzi, Stuart was jumping in and out of the swimming pool. He didn’t seem to need anyone else to have a good time.

“He appeared to be enjoying himself. Stuart had something that he was chucking about. I think it was a hat”. Here we are told that Stuart is in the pool while the two men are in the jacuzzi. That account is flatly contradicted by Kenney, of course. The other thing we note is that long after Kylie Merritt has already told police twice that Stuart was chucking his baseball cap around (in the dark), she now says that she only thinks it was a hat. One wonders what else it might have been? Her story is beginning to come apart at the seams.

She confirms again that she saw Stuart in the pool at a later time in the night: “Jonathan and Justin were in the lounge. Justin was now dressed and I think Jonathan must have been as well. Stuart was still in the pool. I know he was still in the pool as just prior to going to the toilet, I went to the outside door again…Stuart was in the pool. He asked me to join him but I declined to as it was too cold”.

This time she tells us more detail about what happened before the alarm was raised. It is worth examining it, because it is different from other accounts we have considered so far. She walks into the lounge. Justin and Jonathan are there. She leaves and joins Kelly and Claire in the kitchen. Then she tells us: “About one minute later, Jonathan and Justin joined us. I think Justin got a beer, I’m not sure about Jonathan. They sat chatting to us for about 10 minutes, at which point Jonathan said: ‘I’m going to go and see where Michael is’, or something along those lines. He then left the kitchen and walked into the hallway. Justin stays in the kitchen. I recall Justin joking with Claire…”

We don’t know what to make of this account, but we think there is some truth in it. It comes in an 11-page statement to police - a relatively long one - and she gives much more detail than previously. What is new is that according to this account Justin and Jonathan are not sitting chatting together in the master bedroom all evening as they claim, but are interacting with the girls. And if Kylie Merritt is correct, Kenney goes off to talk to Barrymore.

We now think back to the moment Futers tells us about (in the previous chapter) when “…it was shortly after this [Claire coming into the master bedroom a second time] that Barrymore’s boyfriend [Kenney] came into the bedroom. He was wearing a white robe…I can’t remember what he said, but my overall impression was that he wasn’t bubbly, happy”.

We believe that we may be able to match the two accounts. In simple terms, Kylie Merritt sees Kenney go off to talk to Barrymore; then Futers tells us that Kenney walks in and stays talking to Barrymore about something - he doesn’t know, or ‘can’t remember’ what.

Knowing as we do about the night’s events, we have to ask ourselves this question: Is this the moment when Kenney tells Barrymore what has happened to Stuart? We definitely get the feel from Futers that the Kenney-Barrymore conversation is somehow heavy, dark, secret.

We may ask why Kylie is much more forthcoming this time when she talks to the police. We suspect a combination of things. We think she is probably naturally chatty. And we think she was probably under pressure from the police who no doubt were telling her that they knew that there was much more that she could tell them.

She appears to have taken the route of revealing what extra details she can, giving us little extra glimpses here and there of what was happening, but she does not depart from the main ‘party line’ and sticks like glue to her story about Stuart swimming in the pool.

She reveals to us a little more detail about the moment Stuart is found. This time, Kylie Merritt tells us that ‘a male voice, either Futers or Shaw’ raises the alarm, and she “jumped out of my seat [in the kitchen] into the hallway towards the patio door. Here I saw Futers and Shaw standing inside the door. I saw Jonathan leaning over Stuart, Jonathan spoke to me when I got close to him. He said: ‘Go back inside, you can’t handle it’. Futers and Shaw were standing just inside the patio door. As you look at the patio door from the patio itself, they were standing just inside, to the right. I did not see them outside”.

Let us assume for a moment that this last, new detail about Futers and Shaw - which incidentally she repeats - is correct. It may well be.

The questions are obvious. Does she say they’re wet? No. Does she say that they are both - or either of them - out of breath? No. Does she say they are in their shorts? No. Nothing like that. They are apparently fully clothed and standing.

What a contrast with the graphic account of Simon Shaw, the man who wasn’t there to give evidence at the Inquest.

There is one other small detail she mentions in this third statement of hers. She changes her story slightly about the moment just before the alarm was raised. She says: “I said that Jonathan was in the lounge just prior to someone shouting for an ambulance. I now recall that Justin was in the kitchen, and I don’t know where Jonathan was”.

The main significance of this is that, if true, it destroys Justin Merritt’s and Kenney’s claims that the two of them were just sitting chatting to each other in the master bedroom until the alarm was raised.

The accounts of Claire Jones and Kelly Campbell

Finally, we’ll look at what the two girls, Claire Jones and Kelly Campbell, have to say about the moment Stuart was ‘found’. We say again that we do not think they were actively involved in the cover-up. But it is also perfectly possible that at some stage they were told or found out something about what really happened. At the very least, they would have strongly suspected what might have gone on that night. We think that their accounts of that night are more straightforward and fuller than those of the others. But for understandable reasons of fear, they may well have felt unable to tell the police all they knew.

Against that background, let us first of all see what Claire has got to tell us. In her first account, she tells us that after she and the three men were together in the jacuzzi for a few minutes, she left the jacuzzi and ‘began chatting to Kelly and Kylie’. She says: “After about half an hour, I heard someone call out: ‘Can you ’phone an ambulance? Someone’s drowning in the pool’. I went outside to see if I could help; Jonathan was pumping at his chest and Kylie was giving him mouth to mouth. There was no-one else around the pool at this time. The ambulance took about 10 minutes to arrive. Kylie and Jonathan worked on him until they arrived”.

We should now add here her second account, which elaborates one or two facts. She says:

“Then, [Futers] came into the kitchen, he was panicking slightly. ‘Get an ambulance, someone’s drowning’, he said, or words similar to this. She then describes how she and Kelly Campbell follow Futers out to the poolside and look through the patio door. As she did so, she says she saw Justin Merritt on a mobile ’phone: “I remember seeing Justin outside the main bedroom door, he was talking on his mobile ’phone”.

Let us unpick this apparently straightforward account and just examine for a moment who is where, and doing what, as Claire hears the alarm raised.

Barrymore? Nowhere to be seen. Probably rapidly ‘tidying up’ and preparing for his escape.

Kenney? Already on the patio attending to Stuart’ body.

Kylie Merritt? Also on the patio attending to Stuart and beginning to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Futers? Apparently clothed, and sounding the alarm.

Shaw? Nowhere to be seen, but probably getting ready to leave with Barrymore.

Justin Merritt? Inside, on a mobile ’phone, talking to the Ambulance Service. (But in a moment, he will be out on the patio relaying futile Ambulance Service instructions to Kenney, probably knowing fine well that Stuart is already dead).

Kelly Campbell? Going out on to the patio with Claire.

If Claire Jones’ description of what she sees, following the alarm being raised, is correct - and we have no reason to doubt it - her account simply blows apart the accounts of the five men and Kylie Merritt.

And we can’t even be certain from our account that it is Barrymore’s voice that raises the alarm. He appears to be making his escape already.

Claire gives some useful further detail. Justin ‘seemed to be speaking to the ambulance, telling them of the condition of someone…’ She says she saw Stuart’s body on the patio. Kylie Merritt was breathing into his mouth

and Jonathan was doing chest compressions. Claire says she went over to Jonathan asking if there was anything she could do. Jonathan said: ‘Make sure the ambulance is on its way’. She then checks with Justin Merritt that the ambulance is on its way. Jonathan asks Claire to ‘go and get a towel’.

As Kylie breathed into Stuart’s mouth, Claire says she saw ‘stuff’ was coming out. She adds: “First, I could see water coming from his mouth, then vomit, and then blood”. She is quite definite in stating that it was blood that she saw.

As Claire dashes into the house to get a towel, she sees

Barrymore: “I went to the main bedroom [to get a towel] and as I went in I saw Barrymore rummaging through the same drawers I described earlier. He didn’t turn or say anything to me”. Barrymore has frequently explained his doing a runner that morning as a ‘panic attack’. But it was evidently not so serious an attack that it stopped him from looking for something or other in his drawers. Not surprisingly, his autobiography is silent about that part of his running away; there is no mention of what he might have been looking for.

Now we come to Kelly Campbell’s first account of how Stuart was found. She tells us that she, Kylie and Claire (all three girls) were in the kitchen when: “Michael and then Justin burst into the kitchen and Justin said: ‘Where’s the ’phone? Someone call an ambulance, someone’s drowned outside’”.

Her second statement is slightly different: “Someone came in, maybe Michael, maybe Justin, saying ‘We need an ambulance, someone’s drowned’.

Kelly then says that she ‘grabbed a ’phone’ (Kylie’s) and dialled 999. The call to the Ambulance Service was definitely made on Kylie Merritt’s ’phone. Why Kelly has the mobile ’phone at this stage and not Kylie is not explained. She says that she then handed the ’phone to Justin. That is broadly consistent with Claire’s account, except that Kelly places Kylie in the kitchen at this point whilst Claire thinks she is already out on the patio with Kenney.

Kelly Campbell’s recollection is that Simon Shaw was sitting in the kitchen with Claire and Kylie when the alarm was raised. No-one else recollects that, but it is very possible that Shaw was seen in the kitchen moments later. She does not seem to recollect what Claire says, and adds that Kylie Merritt had left the kitchen at least 15 minutes before the alarm was raised - but presumably, from what she says, she had returned by then.

Kelly Campbell then tells us that at this point, immediately after learning that someone had drowned outside: “I turned the loud music off in the lounge so Justin could use the ’phone”. This is not inconsistent with other statements. Justin was inside the house on the mobile ’phone initially, but then soon after, according to other statements, Justin went outside. First Justin Merritt and, just after, Kenney, were talking to the Ambulance Service getting urgent life-saving instructions. No-one else has mentioned the loud music being on at this time. That may or may not be of significance, we don’t know.

Kelly describes how she briefly saw Stuart Lubbock lying on his back with Jonathan attending to him and both Claire and Justin Merritt talking on the ’phone receiving information from the Ambulance Service.

Kelly then says that Futers was in the kitchen and said: ‘Go home, get out of here, get ya stuff out of here and go home’. She says that Shaw and Futers were both urging the two of them to leave, while the two girls were saying: ‘Where are you going?’ and ‘What’s happening about the guy out there?’. She confirmed that at this point in time, Michael Barrymore ran out of the house, holding a jumper or ‘some other object’, under his arm, and shouted: ‘Just get out of here’.

She confirms that the three men went off down the road but that she and Claire returned to the Barrymore mansion.

Claire was by now, she says, in tears. Kelly and Claire then saw the ambulance enter the drive, indeed opening the gates for the ambulance, with Jonathan Kenney directing operations. We may note again that in this account there is no mention of Futers being in shorts, nor to any wet, out-of-breath, exhausted Simon Shaw.

Was Stuart Lubbock seen swimming in the pool earlier in the evening?

Here we come to one of the crucial pieces of evidence about the whole evening. Was Stuart seen in the swimming pool earlier in the evening as claimed by both Justin and Kylie Merritt?

We discussed above the clear but possibly flawed evidence from Kylie Merritt that she had seen Stuart swimming in the pool more than once. We have also seen how Justin Merritt failed to tell Essex Police that he had seen Stuart in the swimming pool in either of his first two statements - but later came up with vivid stories of his seeing Stuart ‘dive-bombing’ into the pool and swimming about maniacally like an electric eel.

Essex Police, for reasons we want to find out, appeared to believe Kylie Merritt’s initial account of seeing Stuart swimming in the pool, and appear to have accepted Justin Merritt’s belated recollections of having also done so. The police, as we’ve seen, were confident enough to tell the Coroner and all four pathologists that it was an undisputed fact that Stuart had been seen earlier that night in the pool. Many press and TV reports recycled as established facts the Merritts’ accounts that Stuart had been seen swimming excitedly in the swimming pool, throwing his cap around, and ‘divebombing’ into the pool.

It is time to examine precisely what was said, and when they said it, by these two unreliable witnesses.

First, let’s summarise what Kylie Merritt says in her statements about this issue, which we covered above.

• While Justin Merritt and Kenney were in the Jacuzzi, ‘Stuart was swimming’
• At that time, he ‘threw his hat [baseball cap] at me’, and ‘I threw it back into the pool’
• At that time, Stuart was ‘messing about in the pool’
• Some time later, she says she saw Stuart in the swimming pool again. He was ‘quite loud’, so she thought of shutting the patio door. At this time, Stuart was out there ‘on his own’
• At this time, Stuart shouted at her to join her in the pool, but Kylie refused, ‘because it was too cold’.
• At this time, Kylie Merritt says she asked him if he was O.K., and he replied that he was.

It is noteworthy that in her first, very short, very vague statement to police, the one incident during the entire night that Kylie Merritt seems able to recall in any detail is Stuart Lubbock’s peaked baseball cap being thrown at her by Stuart - and then thrown back into the pool. This very niftily places the baseball cap in the swimming pool.

Now let us rewind to the evidence from the ambulancemen that we looked at in Chapter Twelve.

Terry Brennan, an Ambulance Paramedic, notes in his statement: “At one point I recall the female who had administered CPR [Kylie Merritt] say to the male [Stuart Lubbock]: “That’s your cap in the pool”. It obviously struck him as a comment worth noting. It suggests a paramedic who was thorough in noting his recollections - thorough enough both to notice and to record something that may have appeared to him to be entirely peripheral to his main task of trying to resuscitate Stuart.

So we have essentially two possibilities.

One is that this incident really happened, just as Kylie Merritt says in her first statement, and that Kylie Merritt just casually speaks, in a very genuine way, to the dead Stuart Lubbock, saying, almost with affection it seems: ‘That’s your cap in the pool’.

The other possibility is that this incident with the baseball cap did not happen, but that Stuart Lubbock’s cap was carefully thrown into the pool before the ambulancemen arrived. This would mean that it was a very cunning Kylie Merritt who made this comment, whilst alongside the paramedic, quite deliberately in order to draw attention to, and emphasise, the witnesses’ cover story that Stuart’s body really had just been pulled from the swimming pool, as they all claimed.

We have the significant evidence that Kylie Merritt lied to the News ofthe World and lied at the Coroner’s Inquest about Barrymore rubbing cocaine onto Stuart Lubbock’s gums. If she can lie about that - for money - she could lie about almost anything.

But now let us see if her own brother can corroborate her statements about Stuart being in the swimming pool. Let us now go through Justin Merritt’s statements in detail to see what he is able to tell us.

His first short statement is made on 31 March and amounts to barely half a page. He says nothing at all about seeing Stuart Lubbock in the swimming pool. The following day, he made a 3-page statement.

This time, he says: “I had been in the jacuzzi about 10 or 15 minutes. I had lost all track of time at this point and cannot even guess the time, when we were joined by the deceased…he was wearing shorts of some sort; he was in very high spirits. He held his hands up and slid under the water before jumping up. I don’t recall any conversation. During all this time, I was drinking heavily and I was extremely drunk. I began to get very cold and decided to get out…”

Again, we hear nothing whatsoever in this second statement of Merritt’s about seeing Stuart Lubbock in the swimming pool. It was only when the Merritts started giving their accounts of the ‘party’ to the News of the World that we suddenly hear anything about Stuart being seen to ‘dive-bomb’ into the swimming pool. Once again, there is every indication that Justin Merritt’s claims to have seen Stuart cavorting in and out of the swimming pool are pure invention - a fabrication designed to add weight to the claims he had been seen in the swimming pool earlier in the evening.

From examining Justin Merritt’s accounts of seeing Stuart Lubbock in the swimming pool, as told to the NOTW, we can find five clear conflicts of evidence between Justin’s account and those of his sister. Always bearing in mind that Justin Merritt tells Police nothing of all this until he sells his story to the NOTW, here are the five key contradictions:

(i) Justin Merritt says that Stuart threw the baseball cap from the jacuzzi.Kylie says he threw it from the pool, Stuart being already in the pool.

(ii) Justin says Kylie wasn’t there when the cap was thrown into the pool. Kylie insists that she was there.

(iii) Justin says that Stuart dive-bombed in after his baseball cap. But Kylie says she simply threw the cap back at Stuart.

(iv) Kylie says that he continued to swim around with the black cap on. Justin has no recollection of this and doesn’t mention it.

(v) Kylie Merritt has no recollection of Stuart ‘dive-bombing’ into the swimming pool and never mentions it.

We simply say this. The five contradictions above are serious problems for the Merritts. One could perhaps argue that some of them are unimportant or that the discrepancies are relatively minor and could be explained. But when you put together with those contradictions the fact that no-one else (apart from a vague comment by Futers claiming to have seen someone swimming) and the additional point that Justin Merritt doesn’t tell the police anything about any of this until he gets £30,000 from the News of the World, we think most will agree with us that the ‘Stuart seen swimming in the pool’ stories should be treated as probable fabrications.

If they were indeed fabrications, they were nevertheless believed by the Police. Sadly, it appears that they badly derailed the Pathologists’ attempts to get at the true cause of death. And they seriously hindered the Coroner’s efforts to fulfil her legal duty to ascertain where, when and how Stuart Lubbock died.

We conclude with two Appendices to this Chapter.

Appendix 1 is a convenient summary of the witnesses’ contradictory accounts of how Stuart Lubbock’s body came to be found. Appendix 2 consists of extracts of The Lubbock Trust’s letter of complaint to the Chief Constable of Essex on 31 August last year - the letter that precipitated the decision to re-investigate the death of Stuart Lubbock.



[I have not included the appendices - T.B.]


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Re: The evidence that Stuart Lubbock was never in the swimming pool: The lies of Michael Barrymore and his friends

Post by aiyoyo on 01.01.13 10:40

Burymore and friends evidently made a Pact of Silence - remind us of just that infamous case under discussion.

The fact that none of his friends breaks the silence goes to prove they were all in the know if not all directly involved in SL's death -- again a reminder of the other case that's forbidden to be spoken of by threat of CR.

Irrespective whether Burymore was directly involved in Stuart's death or not, he knew exactly what happened to Stuart Lubbock and should learn to bury more and not dig more.
If he's wise he should count his lucky stars of his narrow escape from the clutches of the law. His feud with his ex-wife is history and should be buried along with her death, not dragged out onto the public domain again, because it is of no interest for the public to know.

But Money has a strong pull -- he simply cannot resist its temptation- even if it means using the Press, raking up the dirt all over again, to meet his objective. If he naively believe his tattered and damaged reputation is ever going to be salvaged just by him crowing to the Press he's beyond redemption. Blaming his ex and past bad media exposure is not going to regain him his good name, not ever - not when Stuart Lubbock is still awaiting his Justice.

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Re: The evidence that Stuart Lubbock was never in the swimming pool: The lies of Michael Barrymore and his friends

Post by Snifferdog on 01.01.13 12:47

Well said Aiyoyo.

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Barrymore lied - in 'The Times' - who had to print a correction

Post by Tony Bennett on 08.01.13 22:46

Michael Barrymore - caught lying yet again:

Last year the Press Complaints Commission upheld a complaint against The Times newspaper for allowing Michael Barrymore to get away with saying that Essex Police agreed that Stuart Lubbock's injuries may have been caused at the hospital.

In fact, they said they reverse: that there was proof his injuries were sustained at Michael Barrymore's home in Roydon:


Complainant Name:
Mr Terry Lubbock

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Times


Mr Terry Lubbock complained to the Press Complaints Commission through his representative, Harry Cichy, that an interview with Michael Barrymore included the latter's misleading accusation that Essex Police had failed to refute his allegation that Stuart Lubbock's rectal injuries were inflicted in the mortuary. The complainant pointed out that Essex Police had publicly set out their position that Mr Lubbock's injuries had been sustained before he died, at the address in Roydon.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following clarification in the newspaper:

In an interview in Times2 ("Tears of a Clown", December 1) Michael Barrymore referred to the death of Stuart Lubbock at Barrymore's then house in Roydon, Essex, in 2001, and accused Essex Police of "having failed to refute his allegation that the rectal injuries with which Stuart Lubbock was found were inflicted later, in the mortuary". Stuart's father, Terry Lubbock, has asked us to point out that in 2007, DCS Gareth Wilson of Essex police stated that Stuart "received very serious injuries the night he died and the evidence arising from our current investigation suggests they occurred from the address in Roydon". Essex police also state: "It has been confirmed that the injuries were sustained by Stuart Lubbock before he died".

Date Published: 15/03/2011

SEARCH FOR Or try the cases search

Complainant Name:
Mr Terry Lubbock

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Times


Mr Terry Lubbock complained to the Press Complaints Commission through his representative, Harry Cichy, that an interview with Michael Barrymore included the latter's misleading accusation that Essex Police had failed to refute his allegation that Stuart Lubbock's rectal injuries were inflicted in the mortuary. The complainant pointed out that Essex Police had publicly set out their position that Mr Lubbock's injuries had been sustained before he died, at the address in Roydon.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following clarification in the newspaper:
In an interview in Times2 ("Tears of a Clown", December 1) Michael Barrymore referred to the death of Stuart Lubbock at Barrymore's then house in Roydon, Essex, in 2001, and accused Essex Police of "having failed to refute his allegation that the rectal injuries with which Stuart Lubbock was found were inflicted later, in the mortuary". Stuart's father, Terry Lubbock, has asked us to point out that in 2007, DCS Gareth Wilson of Essex police stated that Stuart "received very serious injuries the night he died and the evidence arising from our current investigation suggests they occurred from the address in Roydon". Essex police also state: "It has been confirmed that the injuries were sustained by Stuart Lubbock before he died".

Date Published: 15/03/2011

SEARCH FOR Or try the cases search

Complainant Name:
Mr Terry Lubbock

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Times


Mr Terry Lubbock complained to the Press Complaints Commission through his representative, Harry Cichy, that an interview with Michael Barrymore included the latter's misleading accusation that Essex Police had failed to refute his allegation that Stuart Lubbock's rectal injuries were inflicted in the mortuary. The complainant pointed out that Essex Police had publicly set out their position that Mr Lubbock's injuries had been sustained before he died, at the address in Roydon.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following clarification in the newspaper:
In an interview in Times2 ("Tears of a Clown", December 1) Michael Barrymore referred to the death of Stuart Lubbock at Barrymore's then house in Roydon, Essex, in 2001, and accused Essex Police of "having failed to refute his allegation that the rectal injuries with which Stuart Lubbock was found were inflicted later, in the mortuary". Stuart's father, Terry Lubbock, has asked us to point out that in 2007, DCS Gareth Wilson of Essex police stated that Stuart "received very serious injuries the night he died and the evidence arising from our current investigation suggests they occurred from the address in Roydon". Essex police also state: "It has been confirmed that the injuries were sustained by Stuart Lubbock before he died".

Date Published: 15/03/2011


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