Stephen Port (born 1975) is a convicted British rapist and
serial killer responsible for murdering at least four men and for
committing multiple rapes. Port received a life sentence with a whole
life order on 25 November 2016, meaning he will not become eligible
for parole and is unlikely to be released from prison. Police
announced they are now investigating at least 58 deaths connected to
the use of gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) in response to the Port
Port was born in Southend-on-Sea. When he was a
year old, he moved to Dagenham, where he grew up and his parents still
live. He came out as gay in the mid-2000s. He lived alone in a flat in
Barking, London and worked as a chef at a Stagecoach bus depot in West
Port met his victims via online gay social
networks. He used gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), a date rape drug,
adding it to drinks given to his victims, raped them, and murdered
four of them in his flat in Barking.
The prosecution said "postmortem examinations on
the four young men who died revealed that each had died from a drug
overdose featuring high levels of GHB", but Port surreptitiously used
other drugs on his victims: amyl nitrite (poppers), Viagra, mephedrone
(meow meow) and methamphetamine (crystal meth).
At his trial, the Judge accepted that Port's
intention was only to cause really serious harm and not death, but
made the point that Port must have foreseen that there was a high risk
of death, especially after the death of his first victim. This was
sufficient for him to be convicted of murder in English law.
His first murder victim, Anthony Walgate, 23, a
fashion student originally from Hull, who on occasion worked as an
escort, was contacted by Port on 17 June 2014 pretending to be a
client and offered £800 for his services; they later met at Barking
On 19 June 2014, Walgate was pronounced dead
shortly before 8 am after Port himself anonymously called the
emergency services reporting that a young boy was "collapsed or had
had a seizure or was drunk" on the street outside his flat.
Evidence linking Port to Walgate's death was missed
at this time. Port was convicted of perverting the course of justice
in March 2015 because his account of the death to the police varied.
He was imprisoned for eight months, but released the following June
and electronically tagged.
Between August 2014 and September 2015 Port
murdered at least three more men: Gabriel Kovari, 22, who had moved to
London from Slovakia; Daniel Whitworth, 21, from Gravesend in Kent,
who worked as a chef; and Jack Taylor, 25, who lived with his parents
in Dagenham, East London, and worked as a forklift truck driver.
The bodies of the last three of the four murder
victims were found in the graveyard of the church of St Margaret of
Antioch in Barking. Port had planted a fake suicide note alongside the
body of Whitworth that suggested he was responsible for the death of
one of the other victims, Kovari, and that he had killed himself out
The inquests on the deaths returned open verdicts.
Nadia Persaud, the coroner, however, said she had "some concerns
surrounding Daniel's death which have not been answered by the police
investigation". Her statement continued: "most concerning are the
findings by the pathologist of manual handling prior to his death" and
noted that "the bed sheet that he was found wrapped in was not
forensically analysed, and the bottle of GBL which was found near him
was also not tested for fingerprints or DNA". A detective was asked
why the bed sheet had not been tested.
Conviction and life sentence
On 23 November 2016, he 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 victims of
Commenting on the case, Malcolm McHaffie, Deputy
Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London, said: "Over a period of three
years the defendant committed a series of murders and serious sexual
offences against young men. Port manipulated and controlled these men
through the chilling and calculated use of the drug GHB, which he
administered without their permission.... This was a technically
challenging case, complicated by a significant amount of evidence
taken from the numerous social media sites Port used."
At the Old Bailey on 25 November 2016, Mr Justice
Openshaw sentenced Port to life imprisonment with a whole life order.
Questions over the Met investigation
Although the bodies of the four men were found in
the vicinity of Port's flat in just over a year from late summer 2014,
Walgate (the first) outside his front door, and the other three in a
graveyard, the Metropolitan Police neglected to link the deaths.
The first three victims (Kovari and Whitworth being
the others) were initially thought not to have died in suspicious
circumstances, and despite the PinkNews website and the force's LGBT
independent advisory group correctly believing there was a serial
murderer at large, the police had told them the crimes were not
linked. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is now
investigating whether 17 police officers in the Met should face
Serial killer Stephen Port receives whole-life
By Caroline Davies - TheGuardian.com
November 25, 2016
Judge says he accepts intention of chef, who
murdered four men, was to cause serious harm rather than death.
The serial killer Stephen Port has been sentenced
to spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of four young
gay men he drugged and raped before dumping their bodies near his east
The 41-year-old chef, who had a fetish for sex with
unconscious boyish-looking men, was convicted on Wednesday of the
murders of Anthony Walgate, a 23-year-old fashion student from Hull,
Gabriel Kovari, 22, originally from Slovakia, Daniel Whitworth, 21, a
chef from Kent, and Jack Taylor, 25, a forklift driver from Dagenham.
Sentencing Port to a whole-life order, 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.”
He said: “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
“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
The judge 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.”
There were loud cheers and applause from family
members in court, while someone in the public gallery shouted out: “I
hope you die a long, slow death, you piece of shit.”
DCI Tim Duffield, senior investigating officer from
the Met’s homicide and major crime command, said: “These evil crimes
have left entire families, a community and a nation in shock.”
He said Port was one of the most dangerous
individuals he had encountered in almost 28 years of policing and that
a full-life term in prison was the only appropriate punishment in the
Outside court, Taylor’s sister Donna said: “We
finally have justice for Jack and the other boys. A sick and twisted
scumbag will never be able to hurt or destroy any other family’s life.
Jack can finally rest in peace. We will always be completely
The judge highlighted Port’s attempt to cover up
two of his murders with a fake suicide note as “wicked and monstrous”.
All four men died after being given fatal overdoses
of the date-rape drug GHB, also known as G or liquid ecstasy. Port was
convicted of 22 offences against 11 men, including drugging and sex
offences against seven men who survived their encounters with him.
Despite striking similarities between the four
murders, which were carried out over 15 months, the Metropolitan
police failed to link them until the family of Taylor, his final
victim, forced them to re-examine all the deaths.
The Taylor family are planning to sue the force,
and believe Port would not have been stopped if they had not fought
for a full investigation.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is
investigating the Met’s initial response to the murders, including
whether “discrimination played any part in actions and decisions”.
The judge referred to the police investigation in
his sentencing remarks, saying: “It is not to me to say whether the
seeming bizarre coincidence of these three gay young men being found
dead so close together might have given rise to suspicions that these
deaths were not the result of ordinary self-administered drug
overdoses but that is how their deaths, including Jack Taylor’s death,
were treated at the time; the competence and adequacy of the
investigation will later be examined by others.”
He said police had accepted the death of Port’s
first victim, Walgate, “at face value”, adding: “Whether the police
were right to do so, in the light of what they knew or ought to have
found out, is for others to decide having thoroughly inquired into the
matter, which it has not been appropriate for us to do in the course
of the criminal trial.”
The public gallery at the Old Bailey court was
packed, and all the members of the jury had returned to court to hear
Ahead of sentencing, Jonathan Rees QC, prosecuting,
read aloud to the court from victim impact statements. Relatives of
Walgate described their “devastation”. His mother said her son was
clever, funny and talented and wanted to be a famous fashion designer.
Port had not only destroyed their family, but had destroyed his own,
Kovari’s brother, Adam, said the impact on his
family of the loss of his only brother could “hardly be described in
words”, said Rees. His murder had “changed their lives for ever”.
Adam Whitworth, father of Daniel Whitworth,
described living two parallel lives, where grief tainted everyday
life. Friends had told him that “the light had gone out of his eyes”,
said Rees, and he had a “life sentence of grief”. His partner and
Daniel’s stepmother, Amanda Pearson, said she had become “bitter and
cynical”, that the “rich and fulfilling life ahead of us with Dan has
been stolen from us”. It had been painful for the family when they had
first wrongly been told he had taken his own life, Rees said.
Taylor’s family said their lives had been
destroyed, and they had had to suffer the “devastating effect” of his
body being exhumed. They endured endless sleepless nights, and family
members had taken time off work sick. The loss of the son, brother,
uncle, brother-in-law had left “a black hole that will never be
Port’s family later said they continued to believe
he was innocent, ITV news reported. Speaking anonymously to the
broadcaster, Port’s mother said: “I know he’s my son – he’s a kind
“He said all along, ‘I didn’t murder anyone mum,’
he said. Honest truth. ‘I didn’t murder anyone’ - that’s what he told
me last Sunday on the telephone.”
David Etheridge QC, for Port, said in mitigation
that at that period in Port’s life, he had descended into a “vortex”
of drug-taking, where “gratification of his sexual life was central”.
Port’s fetish for sex with drugged young men had
“graduated to fixation, and fixation to compulsion”.
He added the prosecution had not alleged “any
intent to kill these young men”. The premeditated planning “was to
drug to unconsciousness and not to end someone’s life”, said
As Port was convicted, Stuart Cundy, a police
commander who leads the Met’s specialist crime and operations unit,
offered personal letters of apology to the victims’ families for the
missed opportunities to catch Port sooner.
During the trial it emerged that Port, a bus depot
canteen chef, had been arrested and charged for lying about how the
body of his first victim, Walgate, came to be found dumped outside the
communal entrance to his flat in Barking, east London, in June 2014.
Port was bailed. He went on to murder his second
and third victims, Kovari and Whitworth, in August and September 2014.
Their bodies were found within three weeks, by the same dog walker,
propped up in a sitting position in a graveyard near his flat.
As part of an elaborate cover-up, Port faked and
planted a suicide note purporting to have been written by Whitworth
claiming he had taken his own life by overdosing on GHB in guilt over
accidentally giving Kovari a fatal dose of the drug during sex. The
note, which was taken at “face value” by investigating officers,
included the line: “BTW, please do not blame the guy I was with last
night, we only had sex, then I left. He knows nothing of what I have
done.” Had police attempted to trace that “guy’, which they did not,
it could have led them to Port.
Port was briefly jailed in March 2015 for
perverting the course of justice in lying to police about Walgate’s
death. He was released in June 2015. Three months later, in September,
he murdered Taylor.
Seventeen police officers are facing investigation
for possible misconduct over the catalogue of failures in catching
Port. The Met is now re-examining 58 unexplained deaths involving the
drug GHB from a four-year period, across London, in case signs of
suspicious death were missed.
Port used a string of fake online dating profiles
and was very active on social media. He met his victims via apps such
as Grindr, expressing a sexual preference for young, boyish-looking
men he called “twinks”.
Following his conviction, the force has appealed
for any other victims who suffered at Port’s hands to come forward.
Stephen Port trial: timeline of his crimes
By Caroline Davies - TheGuardian.com
November 23, 2016
15 June 2014
Port contacts Anthony Walgate through the Sleepyboys male escort
website and offers to pay £800 for him to stay overnight on 17 June.
The body of Walgate, 23, is found propped in a sitting position near
the communal entrance outside Port’s flat in Barking, east London.
Port tells police he found the victim like that and called 999 because
he thought he might be drunk, collapsed or suffering a seizure.
Port is arrested after police discover he hired Walgate as an escort.
He is charged with perverting the course of justice by making a false
police statement, and released on bail.
Gabriel Kovari, 22, goes to stay at Port’s flat.
Kovari’s body is found propped up in a sitting position against the
graveyard wall at St Margaret’s church, Barking, 500 metres from
Daniel Whitworth, 21, arranges to meet Port in Barking.
Whitworth’s body is found propped up in a sitting position against the
same graveyard wall. An apparent suicide note – written by Port in an
attempt to frame Whitworth for Kovari’s death – is in his left hand.
23 March 2015
Port pleads guilty to perverting the course of justice in the case of
Walgate’s death, and is sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment. He is
released with an electronic tag on 4 June.
Jack Taylor, 25, communicates with Port on Grindr in the early hours
and travels to Barking, arriving at 3am.
Taylor’s body is found in the same position as the others, by the same
graveyard wall as the two previous victims.
Port is identified on CCTV walking with Taylor near Barking station
shortly before the latter’s death. Port is arrested.
Profiles of Stephen Port's victims
November 23, 2016
An aspiring fashion designer from Hull, Walgate, 23, occasionally
worked as a male escort and featured on the website Sleepyboys. He was
a popular and talented second year fashion student at Middlesex
University. Friends said he was “choosy” about his clients and turned
down jobs he felt were risky.
His mother vented her anger and frustration at the police
investigation nine months after his death, telling her local paper she
had been given no information about why Stephen Port had been arrested
at the time. Port was later jailed for eight months for lying about
how he found Walgate’s body.
The 22-year-old had left Slovakia because he felt people were
“conservative and intolerant”, and briefly worked in a Slovakian shop
In a statement to his inquest, his mother, a pharmacist, and brother,
described him as a gifted artist who wanted to make a difference. “He
was full of love and care for others,” and loved the company of his
friends, they said, adding that he “had been a very inquisitive and
special child, gifted in arts”.
The 21-year-old from Gravesend, Kent, was “an active and intelligent
outdoors boy who loved days on his bike exploring leafy byways”, his
father, Adam Whitworth, told the inquest into his son’s death. “Those
who knew him were shocked by this terrible news.”
The former Dartford grammar school student loved his job as a chef at
One Moorgate Place and Canary Wharf in London, and was passionate
about cooking. He had been in a relationship with a live-in boyfriend
for three years, and his friends insisted he would never have taken
his own life.
The 25-year-old lived with his parents in Dagenham, east London, and
worked as a forklift truck driver at a warehouse for the company
London City Bond. He was not “out” as a gay man.
He was a regular at the Trades Hall club in Dagenham, where he had
spent Saturday night before returning home, calling a minicab and
travelling to meet Port in Barking in the early hours after online
contact. CCTV footage released by police of the two men walking from
the station at 3am helped lead to Port’s eventual arrest.
Stephen Port murders: police failed to follow up on
By Caroline Davies - TheGuardian.com
November 24, 2016
New evidence has emerged suggesting that police may have missed
opportunities to catch Stephen Port, who will be sentenced on Friday
after being convicted of murdering four young gay men.
The coroner at the June 2015 inquest into the death of Port’s third
victim, Daniel Whitworth, 21, raised concerns that someone else may
have been involved three months before Port murdered Jack Taylor, 25,
his final victim, in September last year.
Transcripts from the inquest also revealed police were advised to test
items found near Whitworth’s body for DNA but failed to do so, the BBC
reported. He was found in a graveyard near Port’s flat. A fake suicide
note, written and planted by Port, and a blue bed sheet, would later
be found to have Port’s DNA on them.
The coroner, Nadia Persaud, said in her inquest conclusion: “My
concerns of a third-party involvement in Daniel coming to be in the
graveyard on 20 September cannot be allayed by the evidence that has
been produced to the court.
“I cannot say beyond reasonable doubt that I am satisfied that he
voluntarily took his own life. I also cannot say that I am satisfied
that he was unlawfully killed.” She recorded an open verdict.
Transcripts obtained by the BBC show that Persaud asked DI Rolf
Schamberger whether the bed sheet had been examined, as recommended by
a pathologist. He said it had not, adding that the “circumstances at
the time indicated towards no other external parties being involved”.
“The potential outcome of having the blanket analysed, the bed sheet
analysed, could have been to identify maybe where he had been the
night before, who had contact with him. But it wasn’t submitted,”
Schamberger told the coroner.
Whitworth’s body was found by a dog walker in St Margaret’s graveyard
in Barking in September 2014, just three weeks after the same dog
walker found the body of Gabriel Kovári, 22, in the same location.
The body of Taylor was also found in the graveyard, which is about 500
metres from Port’s flat in Barking, east London. The body of Anthony
Walgate – Port’s first victim in June 2014 – was found just outside
the communal entrance to his block of flats.
Persaud was most concerned by bruises under Whitworth’s armpits, and
on his chest and neck, which she said suggested someone may have
lifted him and moved him.
Schamberger told the inquest that only the contents of a bottle found
in a bag with Whitworth’s body had been tested. The bottle, which was
found to contain the “date-rape drug” GHB, was later found to have
Port’s DNA on it.
The detective inspector also revealed that officers had checked the
handwriting of the “suicide” note found with Whitworth’s body with one
of his diaries, but a handwriting expert was not called in to advise,
the BBC reported. The writing on the note was later found to be a
match for that of Port.
Seventeen officers are being investigated by the Independent Police
Complaints Commission, which is reviewing the coroner’s concerns as
part of its investigation into the police handling of the case.
Port was convicted on Wednesday of 22 offences against 11 men,
including four murders, four rapes, four assaults by penetration, and
10 of administering a substance. He was cleared on three counts of
He will be sentenced on Friday.
Stephen Port conviction prompts police warning over
By Caroline Davies and Sandra Laville - TheGuardian.com
November 24, 2016
A senior police officer is warning people who use dating apps to take
extra security precautions as concerns grow over the scale of violence
and sexual assaults linked to their use.
The conviction of Stephen Port for the serial killings of young men he
met via a variety of dating apps, including Grindr and Gaydar, comes
after the case of Stefano Brizzi, who killed a police officer, Gordon
Semple, whom he met via the Grindr app.
The use of dating apps by perpetrators of sexual violence is one of
the National Crime Agency’s emerging threats to the general public.
Recent figures showed the number of allegations of rapes linked to
dating websites have risen sixfold in the last five years.
The NCA said in its most recent figures that 184 people had reported
being raped by someone they had met via a dating app or website in
2014 – up from 33 in 2009. Twice as many people now report being raped
by someone they met online as are attacked by a bogus taxi driver – a
danger once seen as so great it attracted a huge public awareness
The Norfolk chief constable, Simon Bailey, national police lead on
violence and public protection, said there was a direct connection
between the use of dating apps and a rise in crime.
“The rising popularity of online dating apps and websites has
contributed to an increase in the number of recorded crimes,” said
Bailey. “We strongly encourage users to report offences and seek
support if they become a victim of any type of crime.
“I would urge those who use online dating apps to be as
security-conscious as possible and not to share personal data with
anyone until they are sure about those they are communicating with.”
Port was a prolific user of gay dating apps including Grindr, Gaydar,
FitLads, SlaveBoys, Hornet and Badoo. His case highlights how
individuals with violent intentions can exploit the apps to gain the
trust of victims. Port used a false name and a fake profile picture in
some of his personal information to gain the trust of the men who were
to meet him.
He used the names “shyguy”, “top fun Joe”, “Basketballguy” and a
variety of others and cited his preference for “under 30” and slim
men. In one profile, he claimed to be an Oxford graduate. In another,
a special needs teacher.
“I am a shy, polite guy. Enjoy keeping in shape, love to have a good
time. I am romantic, caring and would take good care of my partner. I
am successful, educated and determined,” he wrote. “I’m looking for
fun/date/bf who is between 18-24, slim, smooth twink type, not too
camp tho .... who has plenty of energy and enjoys a good time.”
Bailey said the greatest danger was often at the first face-to-face
meeting. He urged men and women who use dating apps to take security
precautions when they met their “date” for the first time.
“If you are planning on meeting someone for the first time, take
precautions and meet in a public place,” he said. “Individuals should
stop all communication with anyone who attempts to pressurise them
into something they are not comfortable with. If this happens you
should contact the dating app provider immediately to discuss your
concerns and always report any criminal activity to the police.”
The vulnerability of victims who meet people with violent intent via
dating apps was starkly illustrated by the Port case. Having enticed
his victim with a fake profile, Port would use his first meeting with
the men to slip GHB into their drink, or in some cases, he would tell
them it was lubricant. Within 15 minutes, they would be unconscious.
GHB, an anaesthetic, is popular on the dance and club scene, and is
available in liquid form [liquid ecstasy] or powdered form.
In low doses, it is reported to produce euphoria, to lower social
inhibition and increase libido. At higher doses, euphoria gives way to
sedation. Still larger doses can induce coma. In some cases death can
arise as a result of respiratory depression or inhalation of vomit. It
is particularly dangerous when taken in conjunction with other
sedatives, such as alcohol, or sleeping pills.
Port worked as a male escort – and was well aware of the power a
stranger with violent intentions could hold over an unwitting victim.
When giving evidence he was asked about his safety rules as an escort.
He replied: “I would never accept a drink or anything to eat off a
client. And I always took my own lube, condoms and poppers.” It was
just such vulnerability he exploited in the victims he targeted.
Stephen Port found guilty of murders of four men
By Caroline Davies - TheGuardian.com
November 23, 2016
Stephen Port, a chef from London, has been convicted of the murders of
four young gay men he met through dating websites.
The 41-year-old, who used dating apps such as Grindr to meet his
victims, drugged them with fatal amounts of GHB to rape them before
dumping some of their bodies in or near a graveyard close to his flat
in Barking, east London, the Old Bailey had heard.
Port was convicted unanimously of the murders of Gabriel Kovari,
Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor, and by a majority verdict of 11-1 of
the murder of Anthony Walgate. The jury of 10 women and two men
convicted him of 17 offences against a number of victims, including
the four murders. These charges included seven counts of administering
a substance, three rapes and three sexual assaults.
Jurors have yet to reach verdicts relating to other charges. Mr
Justice Openshaw has told jurors he will accept a majority of at least
10 to two on the remaining counts.
Port, who is due to be sentenced on Friday, gave no reaction from the
dock when the guilty verdicts were read out. He had denied all
The court was told that police had failed to make a link until after
the death of Taylor, the last person to die at Port’s hand.
Jurors were told Port had embarked on cover-ups after the deaths,
including trying to implicate Whitworth, 21, in the death of Kovari,
22, by faking a suicide note supposedly written by Whitworth saying he
had taken his own life in guilt after accidentally giving Kovari too
much GHB during sex.
The jury has been told that Walgate, 23, a fashion student whose body
was found in June 2014 propped up outside the communal entrance to the
building where Port lived in a one-bedroom flat, was his first murder
Port was convicted of the murder of Kovari, originally from Slovakia
and temporarily living in Port’s flat, whose body was found in the
grounds of St Margaret’s church, around 500 metres from Port’s flat.
Whitworth’s body was found in the same graveyard in September 2014,
three weeks after Kovari’s.
The court heard that Taylor, 25, died within hours of hooking up with
Port on Grindr in the early hours in September 2015, and was found in
the same church grounds.
The jury is continuing deliberations.
Alleged serial killer Stephen Port 'had appetite
for sex with unconscious men'
Damien Gayle and Caroline Davies - TheGuardian.com
October 6, 2016
An alleged serial killer drugged and murdered four men he met on gay
networking sites in his pursuit of his “fetish” for sexual intercourse
with young males while they were unconscious, a court heard.
Stephen Port, 41, invited his alleged victims to his one-bedroom flat,
and either spiked their drinks with the “date-rape” drug GHB or
injected them with it to sate his “appetite for penetrating drugged
young men”, an Old Bailey jury was told.
Port then allegedly dragged the bodies out of his flat, propping three
of them up against a churchyard wall near his home in Barking, east
London, having planted bottles containing GHB on some of them and a
fake suicide note on one, the court heard.
Port, a chef, is accused of 29 charges against 12 young men, including
four murders, seven rapes, four indecent assaults and of administering
a substance with intent over a three-and-a-half-year period. Port
denies the charges.
The alleged victims who died were Anthony Walgate, 23, from Hull,
Gabriel Kovari, 22, from Lewisham, south London, Daniel Whitworth, 21,
from Gravesend, Kent, and Jack Taylor, 25, from Dagenham, east London.
Prosecuting, Jonathan Rees QC said Port met the men through websites
such as Grindr. He told the jury of 10 women and two men that the case
would feature fairly graphic evidence of a sexual nature which they
should approach in “a cool, dispassionate and analytical manner”.
“The prosecution say this is a case about a man – the defendant – 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,” Rees said.
He said Port described himself as “70% more gay than straight” with a
preference for young, smaller, boyish-type men “often referred to as ‘twinks’”.
His “appetite for penetrating drugged young men” was reflected in the
“drug-rape” pornography he watched, and he occasionally filmed himself
having sexual intercourse with unconscious males, Rees said.
He had the propensity “to render young gay men unconscious with drugs
without their consent so he could have sex with them in that state.
That was his particular inclination, his particular fetish, and what
turned him on,” said Rees.
The jury heard that Port used a range of drugs: poppers or bottles of
amyl nitrite; viagra; M – also referred to as Meow Meow; T or Tina, a
name for crystal meth; and G, either GHB or GBL in its liquid form.
“GHB is of particular significance in this case. The postmortem
examinations on the four young men who died revealed that each had
died from a drug overdose featuring high levels of GHB,” said Rees.
The circumstances of each of the deaths were “strikingly similar”.
Each alleged victim was between 21 and 25 and had died within a short
time of meeting Port. Port had engaged in sexual activity with them,
they had died of drugs toxicity, and in three cases were found with a
bottle of GBL/GHB in circumstances consistent with being planted, the
Each was found in an outside location close to Port’s address; three
in a churchyard and one in his street. Three were propped up in a
similar position, said Rees. Port was the common factor, and he had
lied to police about his involvement with the victims, said Rees.
After the first death – that of Anthony Walgate – Port was convicted
of perverting the course of justice after making a false statement. He
had falsely denied ever having met Kovari and Taylor, and had denied
writing the suicide note found on Whitworth, jurors heard.
Rees said Port had acted as a male escort, according to one former
partner, who described him having a big sexual appetite and who
particularly liked men in their late teens.
The defendant allegedly met with Walgate, a fashion student working as
a male escort, through the website Sleepyboys, offering him £800 for
an “overnight” and picking him up from Barking station at 10pm on 17
June 2014, using the name Jo Dean, the court heard. Walgate had texted
a friend giving the details of who he was meeting, joking: “In case I
Around 30 hours later, at 4am on 19 June 2014, Port called the
emergency services reporting that a young boy was “collapsed or had
had a seizure or was drunk” on the street outside his flat. He did not
give his name, and claimed he was just driving by.
Police and ambulance attended. A doctor pronounced Walgate dead
shortly before 8am, although it was clear he had been dead for some
hours. A holdall next to the body contained a bottle containing GHB,
and a postmortem revealed high levels of GHB in his blood and urine
“within the range at which deaths from GHB intoxication have been
reported”, said Rees.
Port was discovered by police, who had rung him back, asleep in bed.
He then told officers that he had found the male lying unconscious and
had propped him up against the wall as he thought the boy had had a
seizure, and then entered his flat and had fallen asleep.
Rees told jurors there were similarities in these circumstances with
the case of another man who, three weeks earlier, had been seen with
Port at Barking station “in a state of distress”, and “unsteady on his
feet, incoherent and vomiting”.
Port had told station, ambulance and police he had found the
23-year-old “under the influence” outside his home. The prosecution
allege Port had drugged him at his flat after the two met through the
website Fitlads, giving him a clear liquid, which he thought was
water, and which caused him to fall unconscious. The man had woken to
find himself naked and lying on the floor before Port took him to the
station. He was deliberately drugged “so the defendant could engage in
sexual activity with him while he was unconscious”, the prosecution
The court heard that Port’s first alleged victim was a 19-year-old
whom he met in February 2012 through Grindr and invited to his flat.
The man passed out and woke to find Port having sex with him which he
had not consented to. The victim later told friends and a counsellor
he believed his drink had been spiked, and that he had been
Of the eight alleged victims who are alive, the prosecution allege
five were raped after being drugged, and one was the victim of some
other sexual activity.
Of the four men who died, the prosecution said: “It offends common
sense to suggest that it was just an unfortunate coincidence that all
of these men happened to die from an overdose featuring high levels of
GHB shortly after meeting the defendant.”