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Ex-wife of man ‘murdered’ at Barrymore pool party still hopes for justice

The ex-wife of Stuart Lubbock says she hopes to finally find out the truth about the night before he was found dead in Michael Barrymore’s pool.

Sue Homan has called for justice for 20 years, after the butcher was found in the swimming pool of the entertainer’s Essex mansion in 2001.

Detectives arrested a man, 50, on suspicion of murder and indecent assault earlier this week, before releasing him on bail.

No one has ever been convicted over his death, which took place at 68-year-old Mr Barrymore’s £2m home the village of Roydon.

It is one of Britain’s most high-profile alleged crimes, with police believing the victim was seriously sexually assaulted prior to his killing.

The recent arrest has given Mr Lubbock’s family hope that the truth may finally be emerging.

His terminally-ill dad Terry, 76, has spent his life campaigning for justice – which he said this week has almost killed him.

Sue, 47, and Stuart married when they were young in 1993, before splitting.

She has only ever spoken publicly on last year’s Channel 4 documentary ‘Barrymore: Body In The Pool’ – until now.

Sue said: “It’s been almost 20 years and we still do not have justice for precious Stuart.

“It has given Terry a life sentence – campaigning to find out what happened.

“While Stuart’s killer has spent two decades walking free.

“Stuart’s mum and nan have passed away, while Stuart’s dad is seriously ill.

“It is breaking my heart to see how Terry is – not knowing what happened to his beautiful son.

“However finally there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“We are hopeful of getting a conviction and justice for Stuart.”

Dad-of-two Stuart bumped into Mr Barrymore, now 68, at a club in Harlow, Essex.

Nine people ended up partying back at his pad on the fateful night.

Mr Lubbock was found floating unconscious in the pool in the early hours of March 31 by the TV star, who called 999.

He died in hospital a few hours later.

The incident ended the career of Mr Barrymore overnight, who had made millions in the 80s and 90s as a much-loved presenter.

He and two other partygoers were arrested in connection with Mr Lubbock’s death in 2007, before being released without charge.

No one has ever been convicted and Mr Barrymore has always denied any wrongdoing over the tragic death.

Sue, of Harlow, Essex, continued: “Stuart went to a house for a few drinks, and was found dying in the pool.

“Your loved one never walks through the door, never has another birthday or Christmas with his family.

“He was a loving father, brother and son.

“The police tell you he was raped and murdered – with the killer still at large.

“You cannot move on with your life until you know the truth.”

Channel 4’s documentary, aired last February, sparked new interest in the case.

Essex Police increased the reward for information about Mr Lubbock’s death to £40,000.

Detectives have said this sparked new information coming forward which led to Wednesday’s arrest.

The detained man, who was arrested in Cheshire, has been bailed until April 12 while detectives continue their investigation.

Sue is still desperate for anyone who was at the party – or has been told anything about the incident – to speak to the police.

She said: “Someone knows what happened to him – and they have blood on their hands.

“Talk is cheap when a drink is in hand, pillow talk easily happens.

“If you have been told the truth about Stuart please come forward.

“I believe the police have never been closer to finding the truth.

“They are doing a brilliant job.”

Following the arrest, Det Supt Lucy Morris, of Essex Police, said: “This arrest is almost 20 years to the day in which Stuart was found unconscious in a swimming pool, following a party at a home in Roydon. He later died in hospital.

“The arrest comes after significant new information came to light following our renewed appeal for information and offer of an enhanced reward which coincided with a major TV documentary broadcast in February 2020.

“This information has led to us making an arrest and over the coming days we will be contacting all of those who were present at the party at the time as well as others who may have information.”

Cops will be re-interviewing Mr Barrymore about the fateful night, as well as others who attended the bash.

They included the star’s boyfriend at the time, Jonathan Kenney, former dustman Justin Merritt and his sister Kylie, chef James Futers.

Mr Barrymore’s neighbour Simon Shaw and friends Claire Jones and Kelly Campbell, who also met the entertained in the club.

Det Supt Morris continued: “As we stated last February – and have continually stated over the last 20 years – we believe someone, or some people, at that party know what happened.

“It is important to re-state the fact that Essex Police has never given up on this case and that the force is motivated by the desire to deliver justice for Mr Lubbock and his family.

“Stuart’s rape and murder has been an extremely lengthy and complex investigation which has spanned over 20 years and remains ongoing.

“We have never given up on finding out exactly what happened to Stuart, and we will not stop in our pursuit of justice for him and for his family and friends.

“As we said a year ago, and have said repeatedly over the last 20 years, nine people were at that party.

“We know that not everyone was responsible for what happened, but someone was.

“Now is the time to come forward, if you haven’t done so already, to set this matter to rest by providing us with any information you have.”

Mr Barrymore’s agent declined to comment saying it would be inappropriate.

After the documentary last year, the star said: “I have had nothing to do with this whatsoever and yet I keep getting bashed and bullied by the media.

“My heartfelt sympathies are with the Lubbock family and I truly hope they find peace.”