Serial killer Stephen Port will spend the rest of his life in prison for drugging, raping, and murdering four men.

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The 41-year-old chef, who has a fetish for sex with unconscious men, stalked his victims online before plying them with fatal doses of the date-rape drug GHB.

Port then dumped their bodies in or near a graveyard within 500 metres of his flat in Barking, east London.

He was convicted of 22 offences against 11 men, including the four murders.

The murder victims were Anthony Walgate, 23, Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Jack Taylor, 25.

Relatives cheered and clapped as Port was told he would never be released - with one shouting "I hope you die a long slow death".

The court was told Port carried out the murders to "satisfy his lust" for sex with young men rendered unconscious.

Port disposed of their mobile phones, repeatedly lied to police and planted a fake suicide note in the hand of Daniel, taking the blame for the death of Gabriel.

Mr Justice Openshaw highlighted his attempt to cover up two of the murders as "wicked and monstrous".

The fake suicide note Credit: PA

The deaths of the four young men bore striking similarities - but police allegedly failed to make the link until relatives of his final victim demanded answers.

The initial handling of the case provoked fierce criticism from friends, family and campaigners who had urged police to take their concerns seriously and act sooner.

Following Port's conviction, Commander Stuart Cundy said he had written a letter of condolence to the loved ones of the young men and apologised for "missed opportunities".

Stephen Port being interviewed by police Credit: PA

A total of 17 officers are being investigated over their handling of the case, seven of whom could face the sack if found to be guilty of gross misconduct.

After the verdicts, Mr Taylor's family, who are planning to sue, said: "We do believe Jack would still be here if they had done their job.

"The police should be held accountable for Jack's death.

"We do understand it's not them who took Jack's life, but Stephen Port would have been stopped."

The family refused to accept Mr Taylor would have taken drugs willingly and put pressure on officers to treat his death as suspicious.

After sentencing, his family said "sick, twisted scumbag" Port would never be able to hurt anybody again.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell accused the police of "class, gender and sexuality bias" and said lives would have been saved if police had acted on concerns sooner.

The court heard Port had an insatiable desire for boyish-looking men he referred to as Twinks.

He trawled the internet for pornography involving inert young men being "raped" by older men.

The jury convicted Port of a total of 22 offences against 11 men, including the four murders, four rapes, 10 counts of administering a substance, and four sex assaults.

He was cleared on three counts of rape.

Police have not ruled out the possibility there may be more victims of Port's sexual abuse and appealed for them to come forward.