Grindr serial killer Stephen Port appeals against murder convictions
Serial killer Stephen Port has launched an appeal against his convictions for the murder of four men.
Stephen Port, 41, of Barking, east London was jailed for life in November 2017 for the murders of 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.
The killings took place between June 2014 and September 2015, but a series of police blunders left Port, who was already known to authorities, free to keep killing.
On Thursday, it was confirmed that Port is in the “early stages” of filing a legal challenge with the Court of Appeal.
A representative for the families of Port’s victims said: “The victim’s families remain assured of the safety of Port’s conviction and this changes nothing.”
The families of the victims recently began crowdfunding to secure legal representation ahead of fresh inquests into the four deaths.
On the CrowdJustice page, they explained: “When each boy’s body was found, the Metropolitan Police dismissed our pleas and failed to identify or investigate the deaths as murder until it was too late.
“They later admitted missing ‘potential opportunities’ in investigating the deaths.
“Stephen Port was eventually caught and was convicted of all four murders in November 2016 and will spend the rest of his life in prison.
“Yet, we’re left devastated by the loss of our son, brother, uncle and friend. We believe that their deaths could have been avoided if the police had done their jobs instead of dismissing our boys as drug-taking gays.
“We now need help to get the best legal representation possible at the inquests into the deaths. We feel the police let us down before and we don’t want to be let down again. This is our chance to get answers and accountability.
“£10,000 won’t cover all the legal costs but it will be a great help.”
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All four inquests are due to be held together next year.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct recently concluded an investigation into the handling of the Port case. A report has been passed to the Met but its findings have not been made public.
The BBC reported in July 2018 that of the 17 police officer sunder investigation over the Port case, 16 refused to answer questions during interviews with the police watchdog.
The one officer who did answer questions is no longer serving, meaning he could not face sanction.