The father of a man found dead in entertainer Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool 20 years ago has died, a friend has said.
Terry Lubbock, 76, whose son Stuart Lubbock, 31, died at Barrymore’s then home in Roydon, Essex, in March 2001, said earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Mr Lubbock, a retired toolmaker who lived in Harlow, Essex, had mounted a 20-year campaign for justice for his son.
His friend, and publicist, Harry Cichy said he had died on Wednesday and paid tribute.
“You don’t come across many people like Terry Lubbock,” said Mr Cichy.
“His tenacity and determination were incredible.
“He looked like a mild-mannered man, but he had the heart of a lion.”
Mr Cichy added: “I knew him for 16 years. He thought about Stuart every waking hour, seven days a week.
“He’s died sad, because he’s died knowing people never knew the truth about what happened.
“But no-one could have fought harder for their son.”
No-one has has been charged in relation to Stuart Lubbock’s death.
Essex Police paid tribute to Mr Lubbock, with Detective Superintendent Stephen Jennings, who is leading the investigation into the murder and indecent assault, saying: “It is with a really heavy heart that I and my colleagues at Essex Police today learned of the sad news of the passing of Terry Lubbock.
“Since I first met Terry, when I became the senior investigating officer into Stuart’s murder, I have come to know him professionally and personally.
“First and foremost, Terry was a devoted father, he loved his son Stuart immensely and he understandably never got over the tragedy of not only losing his son, but also the fact that – like us – he never gave up on his search for answers about how Stuart came to meet his death.
“I know from speaking with him on many occasions that at times this must have felt like an unbearable burden for Terry.
“For all of us at Essex Police who had the pleasure of meeting Terry and his family over the years, I know I speak for all of us when I say we were always struck by his dignity and good grace.
“Terry’s devotion to his son and to his pursuit of justice knew no bounds. He was an example to many of us in his relentless quest for truth and justice.
“Our investigation into Stuart’s death will not end with Terry’s – as long as the case remains open, we will do all we can to deliver justice for him and his family.
“To this end we urge anyone who has information about Stuart’s death to please now, more than ever, do the right thing and come forward.”
Essex Police arrested a man in March, on suspicion of the indecent assault and murder of Stuart Lubbock, and released him without charge in August.
Mr Lubbock had thanked “new witnesses that have come forward”.
A post-mortem examination showed that Stuart Lubbock had suffered severe internal injuries which suggested he had been sexually assaulted.
Alcohol, ecstasy, and cocaine were found in his bloodstream.
A coroner recorded an open verdict.
Mr Lubbock, who was divorced and had another son, Kevin, was fighting for a fresh inquest.
“A new inquest was what really mattered to him,” said Mr Cichy.
“He had lost faith in the police.
“Sadly, he’s died not knowing whether there will be another inquest.”
Mr Lubbock told journalists in February that he had terminal cancer and said doctors had told him that he had months to live.
In April, he made a “final appeal” for witnesses to come forward.
“For me the clock is ticking, and time is running out,” he said. “This will be my final appeal.”
Barrymore, now 69, was arrested in 2007 but never charged with any offence.
He subsequently sued Essex Police, claiming his wrongful arrest had cost him about £2.5 million in lost earnings, but Court of Appeal judges concluded he should receive nominal damages.