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Man to go on trial charged with drugging and murdering four men

Stephen Port ( Pic Facebook)
Stephen Port ( Pic Facebook)

An alleged serial killer will go on trial later accused of drugging and murdering four men he met on gay websites.

Stephen Port, 41, allegedly invited the men to his house in Barking, where he is said to have poisoned them with the party drug GHB.

He was initially charged with four counts of murder and four counts of administering a poison.

He was later also charged with six further counts of administering a poison, seven of rape and four sexual assaults against eight other men.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, which allegedly took place between 2011 and 2015.

Detectives launched an investigation after the four men died over a period of 14 months.

Four of his alleged victims, all in their twenties, suffered overdoses and were dumped in or near a churchyard in east London.

The first, Anthony Walgate, 23, was found dead on Cooke Street on June 19 2014. He was a fashion and design student at Middlesex University who was originally from Hull but living in Barnet.

Gabriel Kovari, 22, was found by a dog walker near St Margaret's churchyard on August 28 2014. He was originally from Slovakia but lived in Lewisham, south London.

Just under a month later, on September 20 2014, the same dog walker discovered the body of Daniel Whitworth, 21, from Gravesend, Kent, near the same churchyard.

Then on September 14 last year, Jack Taylor, 25, a forklift truck driver from Dagenham, was found dead near abbey ruins close to North Street.

The Old Bailey trial is being heard before Mr Justice Openshaw and is expected to last up to 10 weeks.

Port, who is in custody, has also denied alternative charges of manslaughter.

A jury is expected to be selected later and the case for the prosecution opened by Jonathan Rees QC on Wednesday.