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Serial killer suspect Stephen Port 'drugged victims'

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Media captionStephen Port, 40, is alleged to have met the victims online, as Ben Geoghegan reports

A man has appeared in court charged with poisoning and murdering four young men.

Stephen Port, 40, is accused of killing the men, who he allegedly contacted via dating websites, between June 2014 and September this year.

Prosecutors told Barkingside magistrates he gave the men large amounts of the drug GHB.

Mr Port, of Cooke Street, Barking, east London, was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.

Image copyright Ross Parry
Image caption Anthony Walgate was found by police last June in Barking

The charges relate to the deaths of:

  • Anthony Patrick Walgate, 23, from Barnet, who was pronounced dead on Cooke Street on 19 June 2014
  • Gabriel Kovari, 22, from Lewisham, whose body was found near the churchyard of St Margaret's Church, North Street, Barking, on 28 August 2014
  • Jack Taylor, 25, from Dagenham, whose body was found near the Abbey Ruins close to North Street on 14 September this year
  • Daniel Whitworth, 21, from Gravesend, Kent, whose body was also found near the same churchyard on 20 September 2014.
Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Jack Taylor was a fork-lift truck operator

The deaths of the four men were not initially linked, but after further investigation they were referred to the Metropolitan Police homicide and major crime command.

The Metropolitan Police said it has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) concerning the deaths.

In a statement the force said: "The referral informs the IPCC of potential vulnerabilities in the response by the MPS to the four deaths.

"We await a mode of investigation from the IPCC."

Image caption The men died between June 2014 and last month, police said

Jack Taylor was a night-duty fork-lift truck driver at a warehouse and was last seen by friends on a night out in Barking on 13 September.

Anthony Walgate was studying fashion design at the University of Middlesex.

Image caption Mr Port was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on Wednesday

Daniel Whitworth was an aspiring chef who worked in London Docklands.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Two of the victims were found near St Margaret's Church in Barking

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