Families of serial killer Stephen Port’s victims get payouts from the Met over investigation failings | UK News

The families of three of the victims of serial killer Stephen Port have been given compensation by the Metropolitan Police over the force’s handling of the investigation into the killings.

The Met said it had settled civil claims with the relatives of Anthony Walgate and Gabriel Kovari and the partner of Daniel Whitworth.

Port was jailed in 2016 for the murders of the three men and a fourth victim, Jack Taylor.

He was given a whole life order, meaning he will never be released.

A spokesperson for the Met said in a statement: “The Metropolitan Police Service has settled civil claims from the families of Anthony Walgate and Gabriel Kovari as well as the partner of Daniel Whitworth.

“We have previously apologised to the families for the police failings in this matter and understand the impact these have had and the distress caused. We apologise again now.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families as always.”

Port’s killing spree lasted between June 2014 and September 2015. He would arrange to meet his victims via online gay and bisexual social networks and dating or hook-up apps. They were then drugged, raped, murdered and their bodies dumped.

An inquest jury found that officers in Barking, east London missed repeated opportunities to catch Port after he plied his first victim, Anthony Walgate, with a fatal dose of the date-rape drug GHB.

Port struck three more times before he was caught, killing each victim in near-identical circumstances, with police failing to link him to the deaths despite detective work carried out by the victims’ family and friends that would lead to the culprit.

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.
Port’s victims: (left to right) Daniel Whitworth, Jack Taylor, Anthony Walgate and Gabriel Kovari.

Read more: The missed chances to catch a serial killer

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is reinvestigating the Met over its initial handling of their cases.

The watchdog said there is evidence that the original probe into the conduct of officers was “materially flawed”.

It added that “new information” had come forward at inquests last year into the deaths of the four men.

In January, a coroner’s report on the deaths of Port’s victims identified a “large number of very serious and very basic investigative failings” by police.

This included a “lack of professional curiosity” about the cases.

Officers had denied accusations of prejudice and homophobia, blaming mistakes on being understaffed and lacking resources.