JUSTIN Merritt was a guest at Michael Barrymore’s house the night Stuart Lubbock died in March 2001.
Merritt is thought to be the man who called the emergency services after Lubbock was found in the pool.
Who is Justin Merritt?
Justin Merritt, from Harlow, was working as a binman in March 2001.
An inquest heard how he was in the hot tub with Michael Barrymore’s partner at the time, Jonathan Kenney, while Lubbock was splashing about in the pool.
Merritt told the inquest: "He was ducking under the water and diving about, having a good time. He then went into the pool and was dive bombing."
The pair then headed upstairs to the master bedroom at around 3.30am and had been chatting for around 20 minutes when Barrymore arrived to change his shorts
Barrymore returned to the room five minutes later to report he'd seen a body in the pool, the inquest heard.
Merritt is thought to be the person who called 999 for an ambulance.
In the desperate call a man’s voice can be heard saying: “I think the geezer's dead, mate."
Who was at Michael Barrymore's house when Stuart Lubbock died?
Michael Barrymore had nine guests at his house party after they had been out clubbing.
Along with Stuart Lubbock, other revellers included Jonathan Kenney and Merritt.
Barrymore has vehemently denied having anything to do with Lubbock's death.
The five others who were at the party were Merritt’s younger sister Kylie, chef James Futers, and locals Simon Shaw, Claire Jones, then 17, and Kelly Campbell.
What happened to Stuart Lubbock?
Lubbock had been clubbing with his brother Kevin when he met Barrymore and his friends and was invited back to an after-party at the TV star’s £2million home.
The brothers had become separated with Kevin assuming Stuart had gone home with someone.
Lubbock was found unconscious in the pool just before daybreak.
He was rushed to hospital but tragically died – with his cause of death still undetermined two decades on.
A post-mortem found Lubbock had suffered “horrific” internal injuries and medical experts told a 2002 inquest that he may have been the victim of a serious sexual assault.
Alcohol, ecstasy and cocaine were found in his bloodstream.
The exact cause of death has never been fully explained.
The 2002 inquest recorded an open verdict after failing to conclude what caused Stuart’s death.
Essex Police confirmed a man had been arrested in Cheshire on March 17, 2021, over Lubbock's death at Michael Barrymore's home in Roydon.
What has Justin Merritt said about Stuart Lubbock's death?
Merritt has never spoken publicly about Lubbock’s death other than to give evidence at the inquest.
In February 2020, The Sun revealed Merritt, then 45, was living as a recluse on a canal boat.
At the time, he was living in a barge on a remote creek off a canal in southern England.
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