Search

Inquests into the deaths of two victims of Barking murderer Stephen Port quashed following legal challenge

PUBLISHED: 13:25 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:59 05 December 2017

Jack Taylor's family outside the Old Bailey. The inquests into all four victim's deaths will now be held together. Picture: Philip Toscano/PA

Jack Taylor's family outside the Old Bailey. The inquests into all four victim's deaths will now be held together. Picture: Philip Toscano/PA

Archant

The High Court has today quashed the former inquest verdicts on two of Stephen Port’s murder victims, as the families take an “important step” in their fight for justice.

Stephen Port is serving a life sentence. Picture credit: Met Police Stephen Port is serving a life sentence. Picture credit: Met Police

An inquest into the deaths of all four of Port’s victims will now jointly be held after police failed to see the link between the deaths of the gay men, which the families’ lawyers hope will help uncover any homophobia which might have contributed to their deaths.

The original inquests for two of the men, Gabriel Kovari, 22, and Daniel Whitworth, 21, were carried out in June 2015, over a year before Port’s conviction.

Port murdered the men using the date rape drug GHB after luring them to his Barking home for sex, before dumping their bodies in St Margaret’s Church graveyard, which was 500 metres from his house.

At the request of the lawyers of the victims’ families, an application for a new inquest was made by the senior coroner for east London, Ms Nadia Persaud.

New information that came to light after Port’s sentencing in November 2016 can now be used to help the coroner make an informed verdict, she argued.

The original inquest reached an ‘open conclusion,’ meaning there was not sufficient evidence to reach an absolute verdict.

Mandy Pearson, step-mother of Mr Whitworth, said: “This is an important start to getting some of the many wrongs concerning Daniel’s death corrected.

“The very least we can do for Daniel is to get the facts about his death recorded correctly and, with a new inquest, we are hopeful we can do that for him and for Gabriel, Anthony and Jack.”

Inquests into the deaths of Anthony Walgate, 23, and Jack Taylor, 25, have not yet taken place.

Andrew Petherbridge of Hudgell Solicitors, who are representing the four families, said: “This is another important step in the families’ fight for justice. We’re very grateful to the coroner for her intervention.

“Holding all four inquests together for Gabriel, Daniel, Anthony and Jack will help identify if institutional failings and discrimination within the Metropolitan Police played any roles in their deaths.”

Port is currently serving a full life prison sentence in prison after being convicted last year.

Related articles

Latest Barking and Dagenham News Stories

Yesterday, 09:00

A big-hearted Dagenham man has travelled halfway round the world to help poorly pooches.

Yesterday, 08:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Post readers this week.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

In the last few weeks we have heard of yet more shocking incidents of crime in our borough, including the news that another young person in our community, Hasan Ozcan, has been tragically killed in a knife attack.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Two teenagers have been arrested after a 17-year-old was stabbed to death near the Gascoigne Estate.

Friday, February 16, 2018

After making headlines by defecting from Ukip to the Conservatives this week, Peter Harris is keen to tackle the borough’s challenges head on.

Friday, February 16, 2018

More than 120 cannabis plants have been seized from a suspected drugs factory in Barking.

Friday, February 16, 2018

A man who was rescued from a drain remembers little of how he ended up in the sewer system after starting his day in Barking.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Barking and Dagenham Council have launched an initiative to reduce the numbers of young people who aren’t in education, employment or training.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The festive season is a hectic time for many, with frenzied dashes to the shops for groceries and gifts, and parties to arrange and attend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now