First victim of alleged serial killer told friend about date in case he was “killed”
The first victim of alleged serial murderer Stephen Port gave a friend details of their planned date "in case I get killed", a court has heard.
Anthony Walgate, 23, suffered an overdose of the party drug GHB at Port's home in Barking, east London, in June 2014, the Old Bailey was told.
He was one of four men to be killed by the "cruel and manipulative" chef over a 15-month period, jurors heard.
The 41-year-old was allegedly "turned on" by sex with unconscious young gay men whom he knocked out with drinks spiked with the sedative GHB.
The former male escort denies 29 offences against 12 men, including four murders, seven rapes, four sex assaults and administering a substance with intent.
Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC has told jurors that Port had already drugged two young men and raped one before he contacted fashion student and occasional escort Mr Walgate on a website called Sleepyboys.
He offered the student £800 to visit for an "overnight" on June 17, the court heard.
Before heading off, Mr Walgate sent details to a friend, joking it was "in case I get killed".
He gave her the false name of Jo Dean that Port had given him, jurors were told.
In the early hours of the morning, Port called 999 to report a man collapsed in the communal area of his block of flats in Cooke Street.
Mr Walgate was found dead from an overdose, with a bottle of GHB in his bag.
The defendant went on to lie to police, saying he had discovered him after returning from a night shift, the court has heard.
When police arrested him on suspicion of perverting the course of justice, Port said he had sex with an man called Anthony whom he had met online the previous week but denied he was the same person.
In a second interview, Port claimed that, when he met Mr Walgate for sex, the young man had wanted to have "some stuff to make him horny and high" and saw him with a brown bottle.
When he returned from a night shift and found Mr Walgate passed out in his flat and making a "gurgling noise", Port said he panicked, the court was told.
Recounting the defendant's interview, Mr Rees said: "He picked him up under his shoulders and then carried him outside to the communal front entrance. He had some concerns that he wasn't alive but he didn't want to think about it."
Port was jailed for eight months for perverting the course of justice in connection with the death and was tagged on June 4 2015 after serving half his sentence, the court heard.
Mr Rees said: "The prosecution allege that it was the defendant and not Anthony Walgate who added the liquid GBL (GHB) into the drink that Mr Walgate consumed.
"He did it surreptitiously without Mr Walgate's knowledge or consent.
"Mr Walgate was a cautious person when it came to working as an escort. He was fully aware that it was a risky profession."
The prosecutor told jurors there was no way he would have taken a dose of drugs that made him "vulnerable and defenceless".
Two months after the death of Mr Walgate, Port allegedly killed his second victim, Gabriel Kovari, 22, who was originally from Slovakia and went to stay with the defendant.
Port described him to a friend as his "new Slovakian Twink flatmate", jurors heard.
On August 28, Mr Kovari's body was found by a dog walker in a nearby churchyard by Barking Abbey.
As with Mr Walgate, he was in a seated position and appeared to have been dragged there.
Mr Kovari was wearing sunglasses and was left with a suitcase of belongings and papers.
His death was initially treated as "unexplained" but a post-mortem examination found he died from a mixed drug overdose.
Mr Rees said the defendant claims he was elsewhere when Mr Kovari died and he was last seen with Daniel Whitworth, his third alleged victim.
Mr Rees told jurors Port had made a "wicked attempt" to frame Mr Whitworth, 21, from Gravesend, Kent, for the death of Mr Kovari.
In an "extraordinary" twist, the same dog walker found chef Mr Whitworth's body on the morning of September 20 2014, he said.
Clutched in his hand was what appeared to be a suicide note.