On Air Now

On Air Next

Paramedic says death of Stephen Port’s first victim was ‘suspicious’ – as jurors visit sites where bodies were dumped

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp

Jurors at the inquests for victims of Stephen Port visited the spots where the ‘Grindr killer’ dumped their bodies, as a paramedic told the court the death of the first victim was “suspicious”.

Between June 2014 and September 2015, Port killed four young men with fatal doses of date rape drug GHB, before discarding them at various locations just metres away from his Barking flat.

The long-awaited inquests are examining whether the police made mistakes with their investigation and cost more lives by failing to stop the killer sooner.

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated handout file photos issued by the Metropolitan Police of (left to right) Daniel Whitworth, Jack Taylor, Anthony Walgate and Gabriel Kovari. The long-awaited inquests into the deaths of the victims of Stephen Port will get under way on Tuesday. Over the next 10 weeks, an inquest jury will hear details of how four young gay man met their deaths at the hands of the serial killer between June 2014 and September 2015. Issue date: Tuesday October 5, 2021.
Image: Daniel Whitworth, Jack Taylor, Anthony Walgate and Gabriel Kovari all died at the hands of Port
A view of 62 Cooke Street, (ground floor flat), in Barking east London, believed to be the home of alleged serial killer Stephen Port 40, who has appeared at Barkingside Magistrates accused of drugging and murdering four young men he met on gay websites, and dumping their bodies in and around a churchyard in east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday October 19, 2015. The bodies of two of the men were found by a dog walker less than a month apart in the churchyard of St Margaret's Church in North Street in Barking, while another was found near the ruins of Barking Abbey. See PA story COURTS Poison. Photo credit should read: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Image: Port drugged his victims at 62 Cooke Street

Port, now 46, was found guilty and given a whole life order in 2016.

On Thursday, the jury was invited to examine each of the areas where the four victims had been left and compare them with crime scene photographs of the bodies in situ.

The first victim, fashion student Anthony Walgate, 23, was left outside Port’s former flat in Cooke Street.

In the 999 call, which was played to the court, Port denied seeing what had happened, telling the operator: “I was just driving my car and just saw him lying on the floor.”

More from UK

However, paramedic Antony Neil told the jury he regarded the death as “suspicious” and “unexplained”.

“When I got to the body it was positioned cross-legged in an unnatural position from what the call was given as a possible seizure,” he said.

Undated handout image issued by the Metropolitan Police of a map showing the spots where bodies were dumped by Stephen Port during his 16-month killing spree. Issue date: Thursday October 7, 2021.
Image: Port dumped their bodies just metres away from his flat
Undated handout aerial image issued by the Metropolitan Police showing the spots where bodies were dumped by Stephen Port during his 16-month killing spree. Issue date: Thursday October 7, 2021.
Image: Jurors visited the spot where the serial killer left their bodies

“My first impression was I could see the patient was deceased but if he had a seizure he would not be positioned as he was.”

He said the situation just “did not add up”.

Despite being convicted of lying to the police about the circumstances of Mr Walgate’s death and sentenced to eight months in prison for perverting the course of justice, Port was not investigated for the murder – and was not stopped until he had killed three more men.

Handout CCTV image dated 13/9/2015 issued by Metropolitan Police of Stephen Port (right) with 25-year-old Jack Taylor on their way to alleged serial killer's one-bedroom flat in Cooke Street, Barking which was shown to a jury at the Old Bailey. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday October 19, 2016. Port has pleaded not guilty to 29 offences against a total of 12 men - including four murders, seven rapes, four sex assaults and administering a substance with intent. See PA story COURTS Poison. Photo credit should read: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire..NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Image: Stephen Port (right) with 25-year-old Jack Taylor on their way to Port’s one-bedroom flat

During the site visit, jurors were taken to St Margaret’s churchyard, approximately 300m from Cooke Street.

Gabriel Kovari, 22, and Daniel Whitworth, 21, were found dead by the same dog walker three weeks apart in 2014 beneath a large maple tree in a corner of the walled cemetery.

The final victim, aspiring police officer Jack Taylor, 25, was found by a park worker on the other side of the stone wall in September 2015.

During the 30-minute visit, jurors walked past puzzled members of the public and a school where children could be heard in the playground.

After returning to the court building, jurors were told Mr Whitworth had been found holding a faked suicide note written by Port.

Handout CCTV image dated 13/9/2015 issued by Metropolitan Police of Stephen Port arriving at a flat in Barking to buy drugs carrying a black bag which was shown to a jury at the Old Bailey.
Image: Stephen Port arriving at a flat in Barking to buy drugs carrying a black bag

Earlier inquests reached open conclusions as the coroner could not rule out third party involvement in Mr Whitworth’s case – these were later quashed by the High Court.

The inquests are due to last for up to ten weeks.