The police watchdog, IOPC (Independent Office For Police Conduct), is set to reinvestigate the Metropolitan Police’s handling of the deaths of four men at the hands of Stephen Port – aka, the Grindr Killer.
Port is serving a whole-life term for the murders of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor in Barking, East London. However, the deaths were not seen as suspicious by police until after the fourth death.
Between June 2014 and September 2015, Port killed Walgate, 23, originally from Hull, Kovari, 22, from Lewisham, Whitworth, 21, from Gravesend, Kent, and Taylor, 25, from Dagenham, east London, by giving them overdoses of the “date rape” drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) at his east London home.
He met the victims online, including through the dating app Grindr, before luring them to his flat where they were drugged and raped. He dumped the victims’ bodies near his flat.
Port was charged with all four murders in 2015, but at the Old Bailey in June 2016 prosecutors added six more counts of administering a poison, seven charges of rape and four of sexual assault. Port denied all charges.
Port was convicted of the assaults by penetration, rapes and murders of Anthony Walgate, 23, Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Jack Taylor, 25, as well as the rapes of three other men he drugged, and ten counts of administering a substance with intent, and four sexual assaults. He was found guilty on all counts. In total, eleven men were known victims of Port’s crimes. Port was sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order.
The force failed to carry out basic checks, send evidence to be forensically examined, and exercise professional curiosity while Port was embarking on his killing spree, the inquest heard. Officers also made assumptions about the gay community, jurors were told.