THE UNSOLVED murder of a young man who was found dead in television reality star Michael Barrymore’s pool on March 31 2001, reached its 21st anniversary this year and despite people having their own opinions on what actually happened the case remains open.
This case surrounding the mysterious murder of Stuart Lubbock has now been explored through a new six-episode podcast, ‘His name was Stuart Lubbock’, devised by award winning television producer Naomi Channell.
Naomi’s inspiration to gain light on the case and hopefully inform more people about the facts started because she lived in the same town as Stuart.
She said “The local angle was really important as I’m from Harlow and Stuart was also from Harlow, I actually knew his father Terry as well and Terry campaigned for Justice for 20 years before he died last year in September.”
She revealed the passing of Terry Lubbock drew her to investigate the case further. “When he died I felt, as someone who had met him (Terry) quite a few times, so sad he never saw justice for his son and I wondered who was going to fight for Stuart now.
“I knew his ex-wife Sue Homan was still very close with Terry and she had promised him to keep fighting.”
Before Terry died Naomi begin exploring the case and decided to get in contact with his ex-wife Sue. She said “I saw some tweets from [Sue] and they were heart-breaking and at that point Terry was alive but we knew he had terminal cancer.
“I just thought I have a skill set, I just want to help this family get justice and that was when I reached out to Sue.
“Sue is the main person from Stuart’s loved ones who speaks out in the press, so when I approached her I wanted to be careful as it’s such a traumatising case.”
Naomi described the case as “unique” as the police have admitted mistakes were made during the investigation from the very start which would have affected the case from reaching a verdict and determining who had murdered and sexually assaulted Stuart. This made creating the podcast challenging.
Naomi explained “What I found interesting about it was putting together a factual story as so many wrong things have been reported.” The police originally reported Stuart’s death as an accidental drowning before they got the results of the coroner’s report.
“The goal for the podcast was to get people to come forward with any new information, whether they had been directly involved or they had been told something by someone who was.”
This case has been explored many times before, through news articles to YouTube videos to documentaries but Naomi felt she wanted to voice what had really happened in a way that hadn’t been done before.
“When Sue and I were thinking of ways to tell this story, we considered there have been millions of news articles but they got lost overtime. We do not have a platform that is big, to create a documentary would have cost tens of thousands to produce but a podcast is low cost and you just need some equipment and a strong work ethic. That is why we decided on a podcast but also it is something that hasn’t been done before so we hoped we would reach a whole new audience.”
Naomi revealed she wished Terry could have been a part of the production process: “We did manage to get Terry’s last statement and included that in the podcast, so even though Terry wasn’t physically alive, I felt he was there in spirit and he was really supportive of production.”
She described how motherhood gave her a more personal connection to the case: “This case really did get to me and I think that’s because I have a really young son and when I look at him I think if what had happened to Stuart happened to him, it would just be incomprehensible.”
The process of making the podcast was difficult and Naomi said she often got no sleep and would be going through evidence including disturbing coroner reports but said, “Having that interaction with the family and knowing we were doing this for Terry in his memory and knowing I was doing it for Sue to see justice spurred me on and that was a lovely part of the process.”
The case involved sexual assault which Naomi felt was a part of the case that was important to discuss: “There is still something controversial about discussing male rape and that needs to end.
“If Stuart had been a women and had been raped and murdered, this may have been a completely different story and would have got very different press attention.”
Naomi explained “I don’t think justice will be served until someone is behind bars and serving a prison sentence and the family finally gets answers and find out what happened.”
Sue was highly involved in the production of the podcast and said “Naomi has done amazingly with the podcast and the downloads are going very well. Hopefully we can finally get some Justice for Stuart, which is the main thing.”
The circumstances of Stuart’s death were horrific but this podcast should keep his name alive and will hopefully educate people on the case and lead to Justice for Stuart Lubbock and his family.
The podcast ‘His name was Stuart Lubbock’, is now available to stream on Amazon, Spotify and Apple.