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July 14th 2020

Inquests

Latest pre-inquest hearing held virtually for Stephen Port’s victims

Dr Neil Hudgell

Dr Neil Hudgell

Executive Chairman

Latest pre-inquest hearing held virtually for Stephen Port’s victims

A pre-inquest review (PIR) into the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor, the four men murdered by serial killer Stephen Port between 2014 and 2015, took place at the Old Bailey on Friday 10 July.

A pre-inquest review (PIR) into the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor, the four men murdered by serial killer Stephen Port between 2014 and 2015, took place at the Old Bailey on Friday 10 July.

Our clients, the families of those killed by Port, along with legal counsel attended via video conference. Her Honour Judge Sarah Munro QC, Assistant Coroner for the East London coronial area, sat in the Old Bailey.

The families were reassured that the full inquests would not be delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and will start as planned on 4 January 2021.

Counsel for the inquests, Andrew O’Connor QC said: “We are quite confident we will be ready for this hearing for that time.

“Families have waited a long time for these hearings to take place.”

The coroner said that while some complex criminal cases were being delayed due to the pandemic, she expected changes to social-distancing measures in the next “couple of weeks”.

The court heard 8,000 pages of documents had already been disclosed, including details of the original police investigations and police watchdog statements.

Pen portraits of each victim will be presented at the start of the full inquests.

The coroner set a further pre-inquest hearing for September.

The victims’ families are represented by Neil Hudgell and Victoria Richardson of Hudgell Solicitors who have instructed Leslie Thomas QC, Paul Clark and Emma Favata of Garden Court Chambers.

Neil Hudgell says: “The families are relieved and grateful to the coroner for committing to keeping these inquests on track. They’ve waited with great patience and dignity over the past five to six years and so it was important for them to hear the coroner’s commitment.”

Oliver Carlyon of fieldfisher and Andrew O’Connor QC are instructed as solicitor and counsel respectively to the inquests.

Stephen Port was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment in November 2016 at the Old Bailey for the murders of 22-year-old Gabriel Kovari, 21-year-old Daniel Whitworth, 23-year-old Anthony Walgate and 25-year-old Jack Taylor.

A full transcript of the hearing can be found on the inquests website: www.eastlondoninquests.org.uk

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