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Families of Barking killer Stephen Port’s victims urge witnesses to come forward

PUBLISHED: 14:00 05 January 2017 | UPDATED: 14:01 05 January 2017

Jack Taylor's sisters Jenny (left) and Donna (right) with mother Jeanette (centre) outside the Old Bailey Picture: Philip Toscano/PA Images

Jack Taylor's sisters Jenny (left) and Donna (right) with mother Jeanette (centre) outside the Old Bailey Picture: Philip Toscano/PA Images

Archant

Families of Stephen Port’s victims are asking for the public’s help in an investigation over police failing to link the deaths.

The families of Stephen Port's victims are appealing for witnesses in their campaign to sue the Met Picture: Met PoliceThe families of Stephen Port's victims are appealing for witnesses in their campaign to sue the Met Picture: Met Police

The Met referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) after the serial killer murdered four gay men from June 2014 to September 2015 – including 25-year-old forklift truck driver Jack Taylor from Dagenham.

Port, 42, was sentenced to life in prison on November 25 last year after also being found guilty of four rapes, four sexual assaults and 10 counts of administering a substance without consent.

The Taylors, along with the families of victims Anthony Walgate and Daniel Whitworth, say they will sue the Met after the force failed to spot a pattern between the drug overdose deaths, despite three of the bodies being dumped in or around the grounds of St Margaret’s Church in North Street, Barking.

Hudgell Solicitors, which is advising the families, today issued a statement urging any witnesses to come forward and assist the IPCC in its investigation, with managing director Neil Hudgell saying his clients deserve answers.

“The Metropolitan Police have publically acknowledged that the evidence heard at Stephen Port’s trial identified potentially missed opportunities to catch Port sooner,” he said. “It is essential that we establish whether the police response to the deaths of these young men was thorough and appropriate, including whether discrimination played any part in their actions.

“The families expect the IPCC to fully scrutinise the investigative work undertaken by the police and examine how any potential similarities between the cases were considered.

“The families rightly want the police to be held to account but it is too early at this stage to say what form any legal action may take, the emphasis right now is on information gathering.”

Anybody with information they think could be helpful to the IPCC should call 0800 151 0021 or email barking&dagenham@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk


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