Stephen Port murdered final victim 9 months after police dismissed PinkNews enquiry
PinkNews reporters contacted police about Stephen Port’s victims nine months before a murder investigation was launched.
Stephen Port was today found guilty of murdering four men, Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor.
The 41-year-old dumped the bodies in a churchyard within 500 metres of his Barking home. The men were poisoned with lethal doses of the date-rape drug GHB.
Port was found guilty of three sexual assaults and seven offences of administering a substance with intent.
The Metropolitan Police referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission following Port’s arrest, over allegations it failed to spot a link between the deaths.
PinkNews can disclose that it was first made aware of allegations of a link between the deaths in December 2014, and reporters carried out preliminary investigations over the following month, which included contacting Scotland Yard.
The four bodies were found between 19 June 2014 and 14 September 2015.
Enquiries were also made by the Barking and Dagenham Post and a friend of victim Gabriel Kovari.
The body of Jack Taylor was found in the churchyard on 14 September 2015.
The Met Police referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in October 2015 for failing to link the deaths.
The police later appealed for help from the gay community to identify Port.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed it was treating the deaths as separate incidents with “nothing suspicious” to link them, and was not looking for anyone else in connection with them. After contacting the police at the time, PinkNews took the decision not to publish a story about the claims.
At the time, PinkNews UK Editor Nick Duffy, who contacted police, said: “At the time, the Metropolitan Police were treating the deaths as separate incidents with ‘nothing suspicious’ to link them, and were not looking for anyone else in connection with them. PinkNews took the decision not to print a story about the claims.”
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A separate investigation from the IPCC is ongoing.
Port had pleaded not guilty to 29 charges which include murder, rape, sexual assault and drugging.
The court previously saw details of his accounts on gay networking, escort and hook-up sites.
In total, 18 different accounts across 12 separate apps and websites had been linked to Port.
The court previously heard that GHB bottles and even a suicide note were found planted on men’s bodies.
His trial began in October at the Old Bailey.