Serial killer Stephen Port will spend the rest of his life in prison after being given a whole life term for drugging & killing four young men he met online.
The Barking chef, who denied 29 total charges, was found guilty of the murders this week after a trial at the Old Bailey.
As he was sentenced, there were cheers and applause from the gallery, someone shouting: “I hope you die a long, slow death, you piece of shit.”
Sentencing Port, Mr Justice Openshaw said: “I accept his intention was only to cause really serious harm rather than cause death but he must have known and foreseen there was a high risk of death, the more so after the death of Anthony Walgate, the first victim.
“The murders were committed as part of a persistent course of conduct of the defendant surreptitiously drugging these young men so that he could penetrate them while they were unconscious.
“A significant degree of planning went into obtaining the drugs in advance and in luring the victims to his flat.
“Having killed them by administering an overdose, he dragged them out into the street in one case, or took them to the churchyard in the other cases, and abandoned their bodies in a manner which robbed them of their dignity, and thereby greatly increased the distress of their loving families.”
The judge also called Port’s attempt to cover up two of the murders with suicide notes as “wicked and monstrous”.
The chef was arrested last October when the four cases were linked after the death of Jack Taylor, 25, who was found in the ruins of Barking Abbey last September.
The 41-year-old man was also found guilty of murdering 23-year-old student Anthony Walgate, trainee chef Daniel Whitworth, 21, and 22-year-old artist Gabriel Kovari.
The deaths all happened between June 2014 and September 2015 in the early hours of the morning.
Handing out the sentence, Mr Openshaw said: “I have no doubt that the seriousness of the offending is so exceptionally high that the whole-life order is justified; indeed it is required. The sentence therefore upon the counts of murder is a sentence of life imprisonment. I decline to set a minimum term. The result is a whole-life sentence and the defendant will die in prison.”
Questions have been raised over the police’s handling of the case, as Port was arrested and charged with perverting the course of justice after the first death of Anthony Walgate, when Port called the emergency services saying he had just discovered Walgate’s body unconscious in a Barking estate.
Journalist Owen Jones also joined in on criticism of the police, saying: “The police have serious questions to answer about their failure to investigate the deaths of these gay men”.
This week Scotland Yard announced that 17 officers are currently the subject of an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) probe into the handling of the killings.
The Metropolitan Police also revealed it is now looking into a further 58 cases of drug-related sex crimes over a four-year period to check foul play has not been missed.
Read more about the case here.