Murders accused 'had sex with gay men after knocking them out with drugs'


A sex fiend drugged and murdered four young men he met on gay networking sites such as Grindr, a court has heard.

Stephen Port, 41, invited his victims to his flat in Barking, east London, where he plied them with high doses of the party drug GHB so he could have sex with them while they were unconscious, jurors were told.

The chef allegedly dragged the bodies in or near a churchyard and propped them up, having planted bottles of GHB on some of them and written a fake suicide note for one.

He went on to lie to police about his involvement with the men as their bodies were discovered over a 15-month period.

Port is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of 29 charges including four murders, seven rapes, four indecent assaults and administering a substance with intent.

The victims were Anthony Walgate, 23, originally from Hull; Gabriel Kovari, 22, from Lewisham, south London; Daniel Whitworth, 21, from Gravesend, Kent, and 25-year-old forklift truck driver Jack Taylor, from Dagenham, east London.

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said the defendant carried out sex offences against 12 young men over three-and-a-half years, including the four who died.

Mr Rees said: "The prosecution say it 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."

At the time, Port was living in a one-bedroom flat in Cooke Street and described himself as "70% more gay than straight".

The defendant was attracted to smaller boyish men referred to as "twinks", jurors were told.

Mr Rees said: "We say 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."

He allegedly drugged 11 of his victims by spiking their drinks or injecting it into their bodies.

His appetites were reflected in the type of "drug-rape" pornography he watched, jurors were told.

Port also filmed himself having sex with men while they were unconscious, Mr Rees said.

He used a range of drugs, ordering poppers, Viagra, Meow Meow, a substance known as Tiny and GHB from dealers, the court heard.

Post-mortem examinations on the victims showed each had died from an overdose of GHB, an anaesthetic drug which acts as a sedative.

Mr Rees said the circumstances surrounding their deaths were "strikingly similar".

Each was in his early 20s and died a short time after going to Port's flat.

In three cases, the men had bottles of GHB "planted" on them, while they were all found in or near a churchyard some 400 metres from Port's home.

Mr Rees said there was evidence they were each dragged there and three were "propped up in a sitting position".

In each case, Port allegedly lied to police about his involvement with the victims.

He was convicted of perverting the course of justice after making a false statement in the investigation into the death of his first victim, Mr Walgate, the court heard.

He denied ever meeting Mr Kovari and Mr Taylor and falsely claimed he did not write a suicide note that was found on the fourth victim, Mr Whitworth.

Port denies all the allegations against him.