Man admits supplying lethal drugs to Grindr killer Stephen Port
A man who supplied the drugs to serial killer Stephen Port has pleaded guilty.
Stephen Port, 41, of Barking, east London was jailed for life last month after being found guilty of killing Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth, and Jack Taylor.
The former chef hunted young gay men on hook-up apps, before luring them to his house, drugging them with GHB, and sexually assaulting them. Some victims, who have been granted anonymity, survived the attacks.
The killings took place between June 2014 and September 2015, but a series of police blunders meant officers failed to make connections between them or investigate Port, who was already known to authorities.
This week, a man pleaded guilty to selling mephedrone and GHB to Port.
Appearing in Southwark Crown Court, 23-year-old Gerald Matovu pleaded guilty to supplying a Class B drug, supplying a class C drug, and a third charge of offering to supply GHB.
The drug dealer, of London, made clear that he had no idea what Port was planning to do with the drugs.
According to the Evening Standard, Judge Andrew Goymer said: “This supply is in no way connected with the terrible crimes Stephen Port was convicted of and is now serving a whole life sentence.
“I think it should be made absolutely clear this case came to light following Port’s arrest and interrogation of his mobile phone and who had been in contact with him.
“There is absolutely no suggestion this defendant came into contact with those young men who were unfortunately victims of Port’s terrible crimes.”
Judge Goymer said: “Port was a man who was not just a homosexual but he was a sexual deviant.
“This defendant was on one view supplying drugs used to facilitate that, although it had nothing to do with the murders that were committed.”
Port bought the drugs from Matovu for use during consensual sex with his partner. Phone records and downloads from electronic devices belonging to Port clearly showed contact with Matovu and Port had described Matovu as his drug dealer to his partner.
In messages Matovu told Port he had quantities of GHB stating he had “loads of G” and asked how much he wanted.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Bhulesh Pala, from the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “Matovu’s activities became apparent during the investigation into Stephen Port and I am pleased we have been able to convict him today.”
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Matovu was bailed until sentencing in April.
An Independent Police Complaints Commission probe of the Port case is ongoing, over allegations that police officers missed a string of red flags that Port was connected to the deaths.
After the first death in June 2014, Port was charged with perverting the course of justice for filing a false police report. The killer told authorities he found Anthony Walgate’s body lying unconscious in the street, but police later discovered he had hired him via an online gay escort service.
Despite Port already being known to police, officers failed to make the connection to the subsequent deaths of Gabriel Kovari and Daniel Whitworth, who were killed within days of eachother in August 2014. The deaths were treated as “unexplained”, but no murder investigation took place.
Over the next few months, Mr Kovari’s former flatmate John Pape raised concerns about a possible link between the deaths – but the Met confirmed to the Barking and Dagenham Post and PinkNews that the deaths were not being treated as suspicious, denying possibility of a link.
At the time, Det Ch Insp Tony Kirk said: “We do get sudden deaths on a very regular basis… there’s nothing, at the moment, suspicious about any of them.”
Port was jailed in March 2015 on the perverting the course of justice charge, but after being released killed his fourth victim, Jack Taylor, in September 2015. The fourth death finally prompted the Met to launch a murder inquiry. Port was arrested on suspicion of murder a month later.
The probe is ongoing.