Guilty: Dealer who murdered actor with same drug he supplied to serial killer

PUBLISHED: 13:22 15 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:29 15 July 2019

Gerald Matovu. Picture: Met Police

Gerald Matovu. Picture: Met Police

Met Police

A dealer has been found guilty of killing a former Bond actor with the same chemsex drug he sold to serial killer Stephen Port.

Brandon Dunbar. Picture: Met PoliceBrandon Dunbar. Picture: Met Police

Gerald Matovu, 26, hooked up with Eric Michels, 54, via Grindr in August last year.

He plied him with a fatal dose of GHB at his home in Chessington then made off with his bank card details and other belongings.

Mr Michels, who had an uncredited role in Skyfall, was one of 12 men targeted by Matovu, of Great Guildford Street, Southwark, and his lover Brandon Dunbar, 24, of Romford Road, Forest Gate, over a 19-month period, jurors heard.

Ten men had property stolen from them and 11 had photos taken of bank cards and other personal items for use in fraudulant activities.

Gerald Matovu and Eric Michels caught on CCTV. Picture: Met PoliceGerald Matovu and Eric Michels caught on CCTV. Picture: Met Police

Eight were drugged with GBL - which converts to GHB when in the body - to the point of unconsciousness.

Following an Old Bailey trial, Matovu was found guilty of businessman Mr Michels' murder and a string of other offences.

Jurors were not told about Matovu's past connection with former chef Port, 44, from Barking, who had also targeted victims through Grindr and killed them with GHB overdoses.

Port was handed a whole life term for raping and murdering four young men and dumping their bodies near his home between 2014 and 2015.

Eric Michels. Picture: Met PoliceEric Michels. Picture: Met Police

Following Port's 2016 trial, Matovu pleaded guilty to supplying mephedrone and GHB and offering to supply GHB, but denied knowing what Port planned to do with it.

In April 2017, Matovu was sentenced to 12 months community service, 150 hours of unpaid work and 40 days of drug rehabilitation.

At Matovu's murder trial, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC told how the defendants took advantage of Grindr hook-ups to steal property and bank details.

On the evening of August 16 last year, divorced father-of-three Mr Michels made contact with Matovu on Grindr after a night out in Soho gay bars. Mr Michels invited him to his home for sex, the court heard.

While there, the defendant drugged Mr Michels and took photographs of his bank cards and driver's licence.

Matovu made off with a MacBook, mobile phone, an initialled black case, US driving licence and various cards as well as a suitcase full of bottles of alcohol.

Mr Michels' body was discovered by his concerned family the following day in bed under a duvet.

An empty 3ml syringe without a needle attached was found on the floor beside the bed.

Matovu and Dunbar leaving the home of one of their victims. Picture: Met PoliceMatovu and Dunbar leaving the home of one of their victims. Picture: Met Police

DNA from the victim and defendant was identified on it, as well as traces of GHB, the court heard.

Matovu denied murder but accepted going home with him to have consensual sex.

He denied administering GHB to Mr Michels, claiming he took it of his own free will.

Both Dunbar and Matovu was arrested after police investigating Mr Michels' death visited Dunbar's flat a few days later to find uniformed officers dealing with the pair's final victim, a 27-year-old man.

Brandon Dunbar's flat in Forest Gate. Picture: Met PoliceBrandon Dunbar's flat in Forest Gate. Picture: Met Police

Dunbar had invited him to the Romford Road flat for sex, and while there, he was given a spiked drink. He was also sexually assaulted with a syringe and passed out, before being found naked and lying across rubbish bags near the entrance to Dunbar's home.

A jury deliberated for 26 hours to reach guilty verdicts on all the charges against both defendants.

Matovu and Dunbar were convicted of a string of charges including administering a noxious substance, assault by penetration and theft.

Matovu had pleaded guilty to some of the charges against him.

A syringe found at Eric Michels' home. Picture: Met PoliceA syringe found at Eric Michels' home. Picture: Met Police

In all, he was convicted of six counts of administering a noxious substance, seven thefts, six counts of having articles for fraud, murder, assault by penetration, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possessing GBL drugs.

Dunbar was found guilty of three counts of administering a noxious substance, five thefts, six counts of having articles for fraud, two frauds, assault by penetration, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and dishonestly retaining wrongful credit.

Det Insp Mark Richards said: "Matovu and Dunbar had a well-rehearsed plan to take advantage of men they met through social networking sites and apps such as Grindr to steal their property. This was their overwhelming motive, rather than sexual assault.

"Their method in the majority of cases was to drug their victim with enough GBL to render them unconscious so they could then search their homes, selecting items of interest and photographing bank cards and personal documents for subsequent fraudulent use.

"But Mr Michels was different - Matovu gave him a fatal dose of GBL. Despicably, while Mr Michels lay dead or dying, Matovu raided his address of many of his belongings, leaving his devastated family to find his body the following day."

They will be sentenced on Thursday, September 5.

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