'These three boys could have been still walking around today' - stepmother of Port’s youngest victim

The stepmother of Daniel Whitworth has said three young men killed by Stephen Port in east London could "have been still walking around today" if police had properly investigated the death of his first victim.

Amanda Whitworth sobbed as she heard evidence of police failings in the inquests into the murders in Barking and said it was "a huge tragedy" that Port was able to kill three more men after Hull fashion student Anthony Walgate.

Port murdered Walgate before Gabriel Kovari, from Lewisham, Whitworth’s stepson Daniel, from Gravesend, and Jack Taylor, from Dagenham, in almost identical circumstances.

Chef Daniel Whitworth met Port through Fitlads dating website.

Speaking after the inquests into the men’s deaths, held at Barking Town Hall, Whitworth said: "It’s been very hurtful at times."

She said that at times the family had become so angry by what they had heard they removed themselves from the courtroom to watch proceedings via a video link.

"Sometimes I’ve just sat up there and sobbed," she said.

Whitworth went on: "You find out the real detail of everything.

"What we suspected to be true, which was that these three boys could have been still walking around today had they investigated Anthony’s (death) properly. They’re not and that is a huge tragedy."

She and Daniel’s father both criticised the "indifferent" attitude of several officers who gave evidence at the inquests.

Whitworth said: “Even right up to date now in these new inquests at Barking, still by the evidence they’ve given and their indifferent attitude and the evidence that’s ranged from mindless to indifferent and bordering on criminal in places really, they’ve proved that they’re still unfit for duty."

Referring to officers based in Barking, she said: "The fact remains that while they’re still on duty, the wider Met has got a problem, they are tarnished. It’s a big blot on their reputation."

The Met police says that the nine officers who were identified as having performance failings were properly dealt with by their managers, and that the six who remain with the Met today have been checked again recently and are meeting expected standards.