X
About Us
Join us
Additional services
Call us on

January 6th 2022

Civil Liberties

‘Four Lives’ drama has told a powerful story of families failed by police which needed to be heard

Vicky Richardson

Vicky Richardson

Head of Civil Liberties

‘Four Lives’ drama has told a powerful story of families failed by police which needed to be heard

The final episode of the BBC’s three-part drama “Four Lives” was broadcast last night – a drama based on true events but one many people may find almost unbelievable when it comes to the level of police failings which have been highlighted.

The final episode of the BBC’s three-part drama “Four Lives” was broadcast last night – a drama based on true events but one many people may find almost unbelievable when it comes to the level of police failings which have been highlighted.

It is a tragic story our team at Hudgell Solicitors has been incredibly close to for the past seven years, representing the families of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor as they have sought answers and justice.

Filmed in 2019, with the input and support of the families, Four Lives powerfully tells the story of how these young men came to be victims of serial killer Stephen Port.

It details how investigations into their deaths were conducted, and how the Metropolitan Police failed to protect them through a lack of adequate investigation and what was regularly called “professional curiosity”.

The drama was screened soon after the conclusion of inquests into the deaths of each of the four victims last year, when jurors found that failings by the police “probably” contributed to the deaths of the final three young men killed.

The families have called upon the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to re-open their investigation and for officers to be held to account. An explanation as to why many officers have since been promoted to higher ranks with their careers unscathed is also sought.

The families wanted this drama to truly reflect the level of failings and incompetence they endured, and how it was that they themselves had to collectively piece together the evidence and demand further investigation over and over again. They wanted the rest of the world to be given a clear understanding of how their families, and their boys, were let down.

This drama portrayed these four young men for what they were; sons, grandsons and brothers all very much loved by their families and friends.  Four young men with dreams and ambitions who had their whole lives ahead of them.

Actor Stephen Merchant, who took on the role of Port, said that when he first read the script, he ‘wanted to believe some of the many police errors in the investigation must have been overstated for dramatic purposes, but they weren’t.’

Families had to investigate matters that police would not

Ordinary members of the public, with no training in homicide or experience in investigative policing, noticed the suspicious circumstances of each death and took it upon themselves to investigate what the police officers would not. Although they were repeatedly told that they were “overthinking it” and “wrong”, their concerns proved to be right.

For legal reasons, the jury were prevented by the Coroner from expressing any views on whether discrimination and homophobia may have played a part in how the investigations were handled. Our clients remain of the view that LGBT discrimination underpinned the incompetence with which these investigations were conducted; across all four deaths.

The families, who we have been so proud to represent, have been moved by the quality of the drama, and grateful to the writers, directors and actors for their commitment to ensuring that the events and their loved ones were accurately portrayed.

What Our Clients Say

Start your claim