Stephen Port, the London chef accused of drugging and murdering four young men he met online, has been found guilty of murdering three of the men, with the fourth allegation still being debated by the jury.
The 41-year-old was accused of killing 25-year-old Jack Taylor, 23-year-old student Anthony Walgate, 21-year-old trainee chef Daniel Whitworth and 22-year-old artist Gabriel Kovari.
And the Old Bailey has now reached its decision, finding Port guilty of the murders of Taylor, Whitworth and Kovari – the case surrounding Walgate’s death still yet to be decided.
The court heard Port had met his victims on dating apps, including the gay hook-up app Grindr, before poisoning and killing the men by giving them large quantities of the drug GHB.
The first alleged victim was Anthony Walgate, 23, from Barnet, who was found dead outside Port’s flat in Barking in June 2014.
Following this, two more deceased — Gabriel Kovari and Daniel Whitworth — were found in the grounds of St Margaret’s Church in Barking, in August and September 2014.
The cases were then linked after the death of Jack Taylor, 25, who was found in the ruins of Barking Abbey in 2015.
Speaking at the Barkingside Magistrates’ Court in East London earlier in the investigation, prosecutor Paul Nagle said: “The four deceased were contacted by Mr Port over the internet through gay websites. They were then invited back to his home in Barking.
“They were then given large amounts of a drug by the name of GHB and that caused them to die. He has then had sex with them whilst unconscious and dumped their bodies in Barking cemeteries.”
Port was also charged with counts related to attacks on eight different men, including seven counts of rape, six charges of administering a substance with intent to overpower to allow non-consensual sexual activity, and four counts of assault by penetration.
Jonathan Rees QC prosecuting said: “All of the offending behaviour was driven by one main factor, namely the defendant’s appetite for having sexual intercourse with younger, gay males while they were unconscious through drugs.
“This is a case about a man who in the pursuit of nothing more than his own sexual gratification, variously drugged, sexually assaulted and in four cases killed young gay men he had invited back to his flat.”
The chef denied 29 charges against him, including four counts of murder, four counts of administrating poison with intent to harm and seven counts of rape.
Port was also found guilty of three counts of sexual assault and seven of administrating a substance with intent, but the jury is yet to decide about the death of Anthony Walgate.