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Inquests into the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor

November 2021 started the inquests into the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor, four young men aged between 22 and 25 years old who died in Barking between June 2014 and September 2015. Judge Sarah Munro QC was been appointed an Assistant Coroner within the East London area to conduct the inquests.

In November 2016, following a trial at the Old Bailey, Stephen Port was convicted of murdering all four men. He was also found guilty of sexually assaulting a number of other young men. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order. Following the conviction of Stephen Port, the High Court granted an order quashing the conclusions of the previously held inquests into the deaths of Gabriel Kovari and Daniel Whitworth. HHJ Sarah Munro QC was appointed on 1 May 2019 to conduct fresh inquests into the deaths of Mr Kovari and Mr Whitworth alongside the resumed inquests into the deaths of Anthony Walgate and Jack Taylor.

Evidential hearings started in the Barking Town Hall on 5th October 2021. After 38 days of hearings, the Inquests concluded, on schedule, on 10 December 2021 with the Jury’s conclusions.

Jury inquest conclusions

Anthony Walgate | PDF
Gabriel Kovari | PDF
Daniel Whitworth | PDF
Jack Taylor | PDF

Inquests touching the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor: Action to prevent future deaths
Honour Judge Sarah Munro QC

The Inquests to which this Report relates involved the deaths of four young gay men called Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor. All four young men were drugged with gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and murdered by a man called Stephen Port. Following a police investigation named Operation Lilford, Port was convicted by a jury of the four murders together with other offences involving the drugging and raping of living victims. At the Inquests, the jury determined that each of the four deceased had been unlawfully killed and, in each case, provided a supplementary narrative conclusion by means of answers to a questionnaire.

The LGBT+ Advisory Group said of the report:

"The coroner's inquest into the circumstances and the police investigation of the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor concluded in December 2021. The jury have returned a verdict of unlawful deaths, raising many issues regarding the professionalism of the Metropolitan Police. 

Her Honour Judge Sarah Munro QC has published her report Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor: Prevention of future deaths report (PDF). The report gives a summary of the facts of the murder investigation and lists six Matters of Concern addressed to the Metropolitan Police, National Police Chiefs' Council, College of Policing and the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, covering

  • categorisation of suspicious, non-suspicious and unexplained deaths
  • interaction between specialist homicide investigators and local officers in determining ownership of the investigation
  • leadership in responsibility over investigations of unexplained deaths
  • recording of investigation details on information systems
  • handwriting verification
  • need to verify the identity of users of escort website

Although the disciplinary action is not in the remit of the coroner's inquest, the coroner points out to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) that the inquest has "exposed failings which were not identified by the IOPC in their investigation"

She also commends the IOPC report to upcoming reviews of the Metropolitan Police as containing a "valuable analysis of how assumptions, stereotyping and unconscious bias may have detrimentally affected the decision-making in these investigations and contributed to the failure to identify Stephen Port as a perpetrator sooner".

The LGBT+ Advisory Group is committed to working with the Metropolitan Police to address these concerns."

Inquests touching the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor: Regulation 28 report on action to prevent future deaths | Judge Sarah Munro QC

LGBT+ Advisory Group’s community meeting and explanation of the process to decide whether to re-open the IOPC investigation into the MPS handling of the four murders. 

On 24 January 2022, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) attended the LGBT+ Advisory Group’s community meeting on the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor. The Group asked him for an explanation of the process to decide whether to re-open the IOPC investigation into the MPS handling of the four murders. Update here: LGBT+ Independent Advisory Group

MPS Police and Crime Committee (London Assembly/ Mayor of London) meeting on 25 January 2021

Commissioner Cressida Dick was asked several questions, some on behalf of the sisters of Jack Taylor. You can view the meeting via the link below. Until we post the transcript of the meeting, here is a brief summary of some of the questions. The numbers reference the hour:minute into the meeting.

  • 1:11 Assembly Member Unmesh Desai, Barking & Dagenham, City of London, Newham, Tower Hamlets
    Questions on behalf of Taylor sisters
  • 1:25 Assembly Member Caroline Russell, Londonwide
    GHB testing a chemsex knowledge gap among officers
  • 1:27 Assembly Member Sem Moema, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest
    Do you accept the victim's sexualities had an impact in the way the investigation was conducted
  • 1:29 Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, Londonwide
    Timing of (updated) step by step guide to unexplained deaths
    BCUs and BCU commanders
    MOPAC and City Hall engagements groups
    Draft crime plan, LGBTQ+ Londoners only mentioned twice
  • 1:39 Assembly Member Andrew Boff, Londonwide
    How many LGBT Liasion Officers/ LGBT+ Advisers are there?

Police and Crime Committee | London Assembly/ Mayor of London | 25 Jan 2022

The distinction between the purpose of the inquest and media headlines

MEN R US volunteers would like to make the distinction between the purpose of the inquest and media headlines. The inquest was about the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor. It is NOT 'the Stephen Port inquest'. Anthony Walgate was a 23-year-old fashion student from Hull; Daniel Whitworth (21 ), a chef from Kent; Jack Taylor (25 ), a warehouse supervisor from Dagenham; and Gabriel Kovari (22), was described by his brother (Adam) as a “very smart, talented, kind person with a passion for drawing and languages”. It is disappointing - though not surprising- that the media have framed the inquest into the deaths of these four young men in this way; ie: "Stephen Port inquest" (Barking and Dagenham Post; 13/11/21), "Stephen Port murder inquiries" (Guardian; 5/11/21) and "Serial Killer Stephen Port: Inquests Delayed" Huff Post; 3/1/20), amongst other lured headlines.

Statement following the conclusion of the East London Inquests | Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) | 10 Dec 2021

Extract: "Today, after hearing seven weeks of detailed evidence, an inquest jury has determined that Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor were unlawfully killed. They have also found that the deaths of three of those young men – Gabriel, Daniel and Jack – could probably have been prevented had the initial police responses and investigations been better.

It is a devastating finding. Our thoughts are with everybody who loved these young men. We are so sorry for their loss. And we're also deeply sorry that there were failings in the police response to the murders. I give my own and the Met’s heartfelt apologies. All those who loved Anthony, Gabriel, Daniel and Jack expected a professional and thorough police investigation into their deaths and it is a great sadness for me and everybody at the Met that this didn't happen."

The Gay Men’s Health Collective (of which this website is part) wrote to the Met with remarks and concerns about the “How we have changed” bullet points included in the statement.

Statement following the conclusion of the East London Inquests | Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) | 10 Dec 2021
GMHC letter to MPS and response to statement

Interview with Neil Hudgell (a lawyer for the families) on R4 Today | 11 Dec 2021


 Interview with Neil Hudgell (a lawyer for the families) and Chief Inspector Lee Broadstock  (Secretary of the National LGBT+ Police Network) | Today, BBC Radio 4 | 11 Dec 2021 | 7m 39s
Transcript of interview | PDF | MEN R US

Urgent question from Margaret Hodge MP | 13 Dec 2021


Urgent question from Margaret Hodge MP "To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make a statement on the Metropolitan Police and the inquest into the deaths of Anthony Walgate Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor." | House of Commons | 13 Dec 2021 | 2m 20s
Transcript of urgent question | PDF | MEN R US

More

Cressida Dick exit is ‘small justice’ for Stephen Port victims, loved ones say | Pink News | 11 Fem 2022
Friend of Stephen Port victim shares biggest takeaway from true crime drama Four Lives | Pink News | 3 Jan 22
Grindr serial killer Stephen Port and the horrific murder spree that shocked a nation | Pink News | 3 Jan 2
Police ‘ineptitude’ contributed to Stephen Port murders, says producer | The Guardian |  27 Dec 2021
Why should we have uniformed police at Pride marches when the Met is so homophobic? | Peter Tatchell | The Guardian | 14 Dec 2021
Sadiq Khan launches vital probe into ‘homophobia, misogyny and racism’ in Met Police | Pink News | 13 Dec 2021
Police officers disciplined over failings in case of Grindr killer Stephen Port have been promoted | Pink News | 11 Dec 2021
Stephen Port: Met Police failings led to more deaths | BBC | 11 Dec 2021
Stephen Port: How Met failings contributed to the deaths of three men | BBC | 11 Dec 2021
Stephen Port: The softly spoken serial killer | Evening Standard | 11 Dec 2021
Met failings probably a factor in deaths of Stephen Port victims, says inquest | The Guardian | 10 Dec 2021
The Stephen Port scandal is another betrayal of public trust. The UK deserves better policing | The Guardian | 10 Dec 2021
Statement following the conclusion of the East London Inquests | Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) | 10 Dec 2021
Police failings in case of Grindr serial killer Stephen Port ‘probably’ led to more deaths | 10 Dec 2021

Horrific failings of Met police allowed serial killer to murder | Novara Media | 15 Dec 2021 | 18m 26s

Homophobia ruled out for jury in Stephen Port victims’ inquests | Barking and Dagenham Post | 3 Dec 2021
Police homophobia ‘ruled out’ in inquest into victims of Grindr killer Stephen Port | Pink News | 2 Dec 2021
BBC News - Stephen Port: Met Police apologises to families of victims of serial killer | BBC | 19 Nov 2021
Stephen Port: Met treated victim's partner differently 'because he is gay' | BBC | 8 Nov 2021
Stephen Port victim inquests hear of Met ‘institutional homophobia’ | The Guardian | 5 Nov 2021
Stephen Port laptop not inspected until he had killed three times, inquest told | The Guardian | 13 Oct 2021
Met officer denies bias hampered investigation into Stephen Port’s first victim | The Guardian | 11 Oct 2021
 Paramedic saw death of Stephen Port’s first victim as suspicious, inquest told | The Guardian | 7 Oct 2021
Serial killer Stephen Port obsessed with pornography, inquests hear | The Guardian | 6 Oct 2021
Inquest into Stephen Port murders to examine police competence | The Guardian | 5 Oct 2021
 Stephen Port: Inquests 'key step' for victims' families | BBC News | 5 Oct 2021
Long-awaited inquests into murders of four gay men by Grindr killer Stephen Port forced to postpone | Pink News | 13 Jan 2021

Coroner | Wikipedia
A coroner is a government or judicial official who is empowered to conduct or order an inquest into the manner or cause of death and to investigate or confirm the identity of an unknown person who has been found dead within the coroner's jurisdiction.

GHB and GBL | MEN R US
Stephen Port | MEN R US

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