Coroner Inquest into the murders of Stephen Port postponed
The judge-led coroner inquest into the murders of Stephen Port was scheduled to start on Jan 7 at Barking Town Hall. This has been postponed at the last minute due to the escalation of the Covid emergency. We should have more information to share in the last week of January.
Stephen Port was convicted of the murders of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor between June 2014 and September 2015.
These four young men aged between 22 and 25 years old died in Barking and Dagenham after being poisoned by Stephen Port with the chemsex drug GHB.
In November 2016, following a trial at the Old Bailey, Stephen Port was convicted of murdering all four men. He was also found guilty of sexually assaulting a number of other young men. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order.
There has been serious concern about the late linkage of the four murders.
Following this trial, the coroner's office appointed judge Sarah Munro QC to conduct a fresh inquest into all four deaths.
This is separate from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into the handling of these deaths by the Metropolitan Police (MPS)
Although a draft report has been received by the MPS, the final IOPC report has not published. (The LGBT+ Advisory Group has not seen this report.) The coroner's inquest has included the IOPC findings as evidence and so any publication will be delayed until at least the conclusion of the inquest.
The LGBT+ Advisory Group has been working with the MPS to identify learnings from this tragic case. Among this work is a review of 58 cases of GHB-related deaths. The report with detailed recommendations was published in December 2020. (See our separate news item.)