Serial killer Stephen Port found guilty of murdering three men

Stephen Port

A serial killer has been found guilty of the murders of three men he met on gay dating apps including Grindr.

Stephen Port, 41, was convicted at the Old Bailey of killing Jack Taylor, Daniel Whitworth and Gabriel Kovari.

The chef stalked his victims on dating websites and plied them with drinks spiked with date-rape drug GHB to rape them while they were unconscious, the Old Bailey heard.

Port denied all the charges against him but was found guilty of the murders as well as a range of sexual offences against more men.

St Margaret's Church in Barking, east London, where bodies were found Credit: PA

Port dumped his victims' bodies in or near a graveyard within 500 metres of his flat in Barking, east London, and embarked on an elaborate cover-up.

He disposed of their mobile phones, repeatedly lied to police and planted a fake suicide note in the hand of one of his victims, taking the blame for the death of another.

The jury was told the letter was initially taken at face value by Scotland Yard officers and not investigated.

Port was convicted of a total of 16 offences against nine out of 12 alleged victims, including the three murders.

Giving evidence, Port denied all the charges and claimed he had left Mr Taylor "very much" alive after having "rampant" sex outside.

On why he lied to police, Port said: "The truth sounded like a lie, so I lied to make it sound like the truth."

However, the prosecution rejected his explanations as absurd, ridiculous and cruel to the families who deserved to know the truth.

The victims:

  • Gabriel Kovari: 22, originally from Slovakia moved to Port's flat in Barking where the killer agreed to put him up on the sofa rent free. On August 28, 2014, Mr Kovari's body was found dumped 500 metres away in Barking Abbey graveyard by a dog walker. He was propped up wearing sunglasses next to a bag of his belongings.

  • Daniel Whitworth: 21, was found by the same dog walker in the same spot as Mr Kovari a month later. The chef's mobile was missing and a fake suicide note was in his hand implicating him in the death of Mr Kovari.

  • Jack Taylor: 25, was discovered near the graveyard without his mobile phone, in the same circumstances as Mr Whitworth and Mr Kovari, on September 15, 2015. He had met Port through a dating app after coming home from a night out.

A suicide note penned by Port and placed in the hand of victim Daniel Whitworth Credit: PA

Other charges he was found guilty of included seven counts of administering a substance, three rapes and three sex assaults.

The deaths over 15 months bore striking similarities but police failed to make the link until relatives of his final victim demanded answers, jurors were told.

The court heard that Port had an insatiable desire for boyish-looking men sometimes known within the gay community as 'twinks'.

Stephen Port's dating profile Credit: PA

A verdict is yet to be reached on the death of Port's first alleged murder victim, Anthony Walgate.

Mr Justice Openshaw told jurors at The Old Bailey that he would accept a majority of at least 10 to two.

He sent the jury of 10 women and two men back out to continue deliberating.