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December 10th 2021

Uncategorised

Police mistakes ‘probably’ contributed to Stephen Port victims’ deaths, inquest finds

Dr Neil Hudgell

Dr Neil Hudgell

Executive Chairman

Police mistakes ‘probably’ contributed to Stephen Port victims’ deaths, inquest finds

Police mistakes ‘probably’ contributed to Stephen Port victims’ deaths, inquest finds

Police mistakes ‘probably’ contributed to Stephen Port victims’ deaths, inquest finds

Officers in Barking, east London, missed repeated opportunities to catch Port after he plied first victim Anthony Walgate with a fatal dose of date-rape drug GHB and dumped his body.

Port struck three more times before he was caught, killing each of his young, gay, male victims in near-identical circumstances, with police failing to link him to the deaths despite detective work carried out by the victims’ family and friends that would lead them to the culprit.

Jurors at the inquests into the deaths of Mr Walgate, 23, Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and 25-year-old Jack Taylor, concluded that police failings “probably” contributed to the deaths of victims, all of whom were unlawfully killed.

In written conclusions, jury acknowledged officers’ “heavy workload” but said there were failures that “cannot be overlooked”.

It followed weeks of hearings at Barking Town Hall in which police admitted failing to carry out basic checks, send evidence to be forensically examined, and exercise professional curiosity during the 16-month killing spree, from June 2014 to September 2015.

Port, 46, was handed a whole life sentence at the Old Bailey for the murders and a string of sex assaults.

Coroner Sarah Munro QC barred jurors from deciding on the issue of homophobia for legal reasons.

Jurors deliberated for a week before returning their conclusions.

Hudgell Solicitors represent the families of Port’s victims.

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