Tuesday, October 20, 2015
A London man charged on Sunday with drugging and murdering four men made his first court appearance yesterday. Stephen Port, 40, was remanded to appear before a higher court tomorrow.
Port faces four counts of murder and four counts of “administering a poison with intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm”. He is alleged to have administered overdoses of recreational drug GHB. He allegedly murdered the men at his home before dumping the bodies, after finding victims online using gay dating services.
Three of the deaths were last year. Anthony Patrick Walgate, 23, was found dead on June 19, 2014 in Cooke Street. Port lives in Cooke Street. The other three alleged victims were found in the vicinity of St Margaret’s Church on North Street. Gabriel Kovari, 22, was discovered dead on August 28. Daniel Whitworth, 21, was found dead the following month on September 20. Fourth alleged victim Jack Taylor, 25, was found a year later on September 14.
Whitworth and Kovari were known to each other, according to testimony at inquest. The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission concerning what police called “potential vulnerabilities in [our response] to the four deaths.” Police did not initially link the deaths.
Special needs teacher Port, who was guarded by three officers in the dock, spoke in court to confirm his identity. He did not indicate if he will deny the offences. He was arrested following a police appeal to trace a man seen with Taylor shortly before his death.
Police at the time released security footage of Taylor’s movements, with an officer telling the press “the man captured on CCTV may well be the last person to talk to Jack.” The four deaths were finally linked and passed to the Metropolitan Police’s serious crime investigators on Wednesday last week.
The Magistrates’ Court ordered Taylor to appear at the Old Bailey, a famed London courthouse, tomorrow. He spent the hearing holding one arm, and repeatedly looking at the floor, whilst clad in a grey tracksuit given to him by the authorities holding him.