UK serial killer gets life jail for murder of four gay men
A serial killer who murdered four young men he met on gay networking sites in Britain was sentenced on Friday to life in prison without the possibility of release.
Stephen Port, 41, lured the men back to his flat and plied them with fatal doses of the date-rape drug GHB so he could have sex with them while they were unconscious, a court heard during his trial.
All four died of a drug overdose before Port dumped their bodies in or near a graveyard close to his home in Barking, east London, planting bottles of the drug on some of them and writing a fake suicide note for another in an attempt to cover up his crimes.
Judge Peter Openshaw described Port’s actions as “wicked and monstrous” as he handed him a whole life term at England’s Old Bailey central criminal court in London, to cheers from victims’ relatives.
Port, who worked as a chef, carried out the murders to “satisfy his lust” for sex with young men who were rendered unconscious, the judge said.
He was found guilty on Wednesday of the murders of Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth, Jack Taylor, and Anthony Walgate, all in their 20s, after jurors deliberated for more than 28 hours.
He was also convicted of a string of rapes and sexual assaults on other men who survived.
Jurors heard how Port was attracted to smaller, boyish-looking men whom he sought out on social networking sites such as Grindr, while evidence included home-made videos of him enacting his drug rape fantasy.
London’s Metropolitan Police has been strongly criticised for failing to link the crimes sooner. The murders, which bore striking similarities, took place between June 2014 and October 2015,
The family of Taylor, who are planning legal action against the force, said: “We do believe Jack would still be here if they had done their job”.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is conducting an inquiry into the handling of the case and 17 officers are facing investigation into possible misconduct.
Commander Stuart Cundy, from the Met’s specialist crime and operations command, said the inquiry would consider “potential opportunities that were missed”.
The gay newspaper PinkNews claimed its reporters contacted police about an alleged link between Port’s victims nine months before a murder investigation was launched.
Police had been treating the deaths as non-suspicious.
The BBC reported on Friday that the coroner at an inquest for the third victim, Whitworth, had raised concerns in July 2015 that someone else might have been involved in the young man’s death, several months before the killing of Port’s final victim.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- India’s Biological E has tied up with J&J to potentially contract manufacture up to 600 million doses of its vaccine per year.
- The violence took place as the US announced new sanctions targeting military conglomerates after the deaths of dozens of civilian protesters.
- The changes are part of a draft decision submitted on the opening day of the week-long meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s ceremonial legislature, which will all but certainly endorse it.
- A brief report published by news agency Xinhua says the central government will support the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to build the passageway.
- Public Health England (PHE) said cases of the variant known as B.1.1.318 were first identified on February 15 and it was understood to have originated in the UK.
- The controversy over the investigation organised by the World Health Organization and China about the origins of Covid-19 heated up as a group of scientists called for an independent probe to consider all hypotheses and nail down whether the virus came from an animal.
- Biden took office promising an immigration policy more humane than that of Donald Trump, but some migrant advocacy groups say the new Democratic president's decisions are luring undocumented travelers in what amounts to a beacon effect.