Barrymore refuses to answer drugs questions

Michael Barrymore has refused to answer questions about drug taking at an inquest into the death of a man found floating in his swimming pool.

Michael Barrymore has refused to answer questions about drug taking at an inquest into the death of a man found floating in his swimming pool.

The hearing has been told that the 50-year-old allegedly rubbed his finger in cocaine and put it on Stuart Lubbock's gums.

Mr Lubbock, 31, was at an impromptu party at Mr Barrymore's luxury house in Roydon, Essex, in the early hours of March 31 last year. He was later found dead, in the star's pool.

Post-mortem examinations discovered he had a combination of alcohol and drugs, including cocaine, in his system.

Recounting events leading up to the tragedy, Barrymore gave his account in a monotone voice to the packed hearing in Epping. But asked by Essex and Thurrock coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray about the drug allegation, Barrymore stated twice: "I'm not prepared to answer that question."

The coroner asked Barrymore's lawyer Michael Mansfield QC, whether the entertainer had the right not to answer and the lawyer replied he did. Barrymore said that he did not see Mr Lubbock often during the party.

He also suggested that Mr Lubbock may have suffered anal injuries by dive-bombing in the pool. He explained that there were three steps in the pool and that Mr Lubbock could have landed on them.

Asked about the moment he found Mr Lubbock in the pool, Barrymore said: "I was walking along and I saw Stuart. He was lying at the bottom of the pool, face up. I cannot swim but Simon Shaw and James Futters (two other men at the party) jumped in and I ran back into the house. I just screamed out that there was somebody in the water."

Barrymore explained that by the time he returned to the pool, Mr Lubbock had been pulled from the water.

Asked about why he then left the house, Barrymore admitted: "Yes, I did leave. It was not the right thing to do. I was in a panicky state and was starting to have a panic attack."

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