Serial killer Stephen Port was identified as a “critical” witness who was accused of raping and drugging a man within hours of the death of his first victim, an investigation heard has gone.
Port made an anonymous 999 call that alerted authorities to the body of 23-year-old Anthony Walgate outside his Barking flat on June 19, 2014 – but he was not treated as a murder suspect.
Port, who drugged and raped gay men he met online, killed three more victims over the next 15 months.
The deaths of four people are being investigated at Barking Town Hall to determine how they died, and that their lives would have been saved if police had responded differently.
On Friday, jurors were told that police traced 999 calls to the port by 5.15 a.m., using his phone number, less than an hour after he told an operator that he had tracked down one such person. who “looks like he’s fallen or he’s having a seizure or something”.
Records show that his last known address was 62 Cook Street, the building in which Mr Walgate’s body was found adjoining a wall.
Inspector Gary Learmuth answered a call from the ambulance service and declared a “serious incident” at the scene.
He said his first assumption was that the death was “potentially suspicious” as there appeared to be a footprint-size on Mr Walgate’s chest, but it was later found that it was not a mark of injury.
“We had a young man who died in a public place, at that stage it was not clear how this happened,” Inspector Learmuth told jurors. “It was normal and unexplained at that stage.”
The London Ambulance Service was asked to listen to a recording of the 999 call and police were reported saying the man seemed “unsure and apprehensive”.
Inspector Learmuth tasked officers with locating the caller and searching the Police National Computer (PNC).
The jury heard that notes from a more senior officer revealed that a PNC check showed Port had “for past sexual assault.”
Records read for investigation stated that Port was accused of rape by a former accomplice, but no further action was taken after the complainant did not support the prosecution.
The man told police that Port had raped her on several occasions, including on December 31, 2012, at 62 Cook Street, and made her drink poppers and alcohol “until he was unable to say no”.
Inspector Learmuth said he had no recollection of being told of the allegations, but agreed that the information was “very important”.
The officer said there was an “overlap” between his role and the detectives leading the following investigation, and that his primary job was to secure and manage the crime scene.
Inquiry revealed that the police officers initially did not get any response from Port’s phone or knocking on his door, but eventually found him inside his flat and took a statement at 7.50 am.
Port gave a false account to authorities, claiming that he had consensual sex with Mr. Walgate and dragged him out after taking drugs at his flat.
Metropolitan Police crime scene manager, Cheryl Kinston, told interrogation that she suspected drugs to be involved shortly after Mr. Walgate’s death, but did not suspect murder.
He told interrogation that he saw a “small amber bottle” without a label, and ordered its contents to be tested. It was later found to contain GHB, the “date rape” drug port, used to kill all four victims and drugged other men who survived.
Ms. Kinston said Mr. Walgate’s young age made a natural death on the road “unlikely” and added: “I didn’t see any assault injuries, the small amber bottle could have potentially been drugs. I thought that was likely.” It was a drug death.”
He told the jurors that no mobile phone or wallet was found and that Mr. Walgate’s underwear was from back to front and inside out. His notes from the day of his death said that the zipper of his jeans was broken.
A forensic postmortem conducted the next day did not establish the cause of death and found no injuries, but Ms Kinston said she recommended a toxicology report, taking “sexual samples” and examining the bottle’s DNA and fingerprints. Go.
Peter Skelton QC, representing the Metropolitan Police, asked if he thought Mr Walgate might have been murdered.
He replied: “No, I didn’t. I thought he most likely must have been shaken after he died and it was strange, but I had nothing to suggest that actually killed him.” Went.”
Port was later convicted of lying to police about the circumstances of Mr Walgate’s death, jurors have heard, but the murders were not linked until after he killed his last victim in September 2015.
After a trial at the Old Bailey in 2016, Port was found guilty of all four murders and sentenced to life imprisonment. Inquiry continues.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /