Stephen Port | 16284ga
This post was updated on 14 May 2017.
Stephen Port, 40, who was alleged to have murdered four men he had met over gay websites and who were later found dead in an east London graveyard, first appeared in court on 19 October 2015.
Port appeared at Barkingside Magistrates Court charged with four counts of murder and four counts of administering a poison with intent to endanger life between last June and September this year. He was sent for trial at the Old Bailey.
The four men were found dead in the churchyard at St Margaret’s Church, in North Street, Barking. All had died from an overdose of the drug GHB allegedly administered by Port.
Anthony Walgate, 23, a second year art, fashion and design student at University of Middlesex and originally from Hull, was found dead in the early hours of June 2014 in Cooke Street, Barking, a short distance from the church. Gabriel Kovari, 22, from Deptford, was found in August by a member of the public who also found the body of Daniel Whitworth, 21, from Gravesend, Kent, in September in the same part of the churchyard. Jack Taylor, 25, from Dagenham, was found near the Abbey Ruins, in September this year, just 300 yards from where Mr Kovari and Mr Whitworth were found.
His trial was held at The Old Bailey in November 2016.
Port was found guilty on 23 November 2016. He has been found guilty of the murders of four young men using fatal doses of date rape drug GHB.
He was also found guilty of the murders of Anthony Walgate, 23, Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and 25-year-old Jack Taylor.
He was also convicted of four rapes, four assaults by penetration and ten counts of administering a substance with intent.
Port was sentenced on 25 November 2016. He will spend the rest of his life in prison for the murders of four young gay men. Victims’ relatives cheered and clapped as Mr Justice Openshaw told Port he would never be released, and one woman in the public gallery of the Old Bailey courtroom called the impassive Port a “scumbag”.
Port stalked his victims on dating websites like Grindr and plied them with drinks spiked with fatal amounts of the drug GHB. He then raped them while they were unconscious, and dumped their bodies in or near a graveyard within 500 metres of his flat in Barking, east London.
Then he embarked on an elaborate cover-up, disposing of their mobile phones, repeatedly lying to police and even planted a fake suicide note in the hand of one of his victims, taking the blame for the death of another of his victims.
Port was found guilty of the murders after a jury deliberated for 28 hours and 27 minutes. He was also convicted of a string of sex offences against seven other men who came forward following his arrest.
A man in the public gallery shouted at Port: “I hope you die a long slow death you piece of s–t.”
UK police are reviewing the deaths of dozens men who used sex-enhancing drugs, amid concerns that cases previously dismissed as drug overdoses may be further victims of serial killer Stephen Port.
The Metropolitan Police Service told CNN they had identified at least 58 deaths from poisoning by the date rape drug GHB between June 2011 and October 2015 — the period in which Port carried out his crimes.
“It is not known if these deaths were related to chemsex activities. In many cases police involvement was limited with the matter dealt with by the coroner,” a police spokesman told CNN. “A review of these deaths is now under way to establish any suspicious circumstances.”
In May 2017 it was announced that 17 members of the victims’ families are suing the Metropolitan Police, claiming that officers discriminated against their relatives because they were gay. They allege there were “breaches of duty and inaction” and accuse the force of breaching the Equality Act 2010, of negligence, and misusing or abusing their power by failing to properly investigate; and are seeking “aggravated and exemplary damages” in excess of £200,000.