For ten months, police failed to examine the killer’s laptop, according to the inquest

For ten months, police failed to examine the killer’s laptop, according to the inquest

Anthony Walgate, 23, Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Jack Taylor, 25, were all found dead near Port’s flat in Barking, east London. Inquests into the deaths of (left to right) Daniel Whitworth, 21, Jack Taylor, 25, Anthony Walgate, 23, and Gabriel Kovari, 22, are examining how the police investigated their deaths (Metropolitan Police/PA). Fashion student Mr Walgate, who was working as an escort, died after agreeing an overnight visit with Port for £800.

An inquest heard that police forgot to submit a laptop belonging to serial killer Stephen Port for forensic analysis for ten months after it was seized, and that they then missed multiple searches for drug rape recordings on the computer. Between June 2014 and September 2015, Port overdosed on the narcotic GHB and killed four men. Inquests into their deaths are looking into whether or not their lives may have been saved if the cops had responded differently.

Port initially lied and pretended not to know who Mr Walgate was, and was arrested for perverting the course of justice on June 27, 2014. The inquests into the four men’s deaths, being held at Barking Town Hall, heard on Wednesday that homicide investigators had advised detectives in a local borough policing team to analyse Port’s laptop, on the day of his arrest.

But the analysis was not carried out and it was only in April the following year, 10 months later, that the machine was sent to a forensic scientist. Then two months later, in June 2015, Detective Constable David Parish was provided with a USB stick containing all the material from Port’s computer. This included repeated searches for drug rape videos and date rape drugs, just before Port messaged Mr Walgate proposing the overnight visit.

The location outside Stephen Port’s former flat in Cooke Street, Barking, east London, where his first victim, fashion student Anthony Walgate’s body was found. The location outside Stephen Port’s former flat in Cooke Street, Barking, east London, where the body of his first victim, Anthony Walgate, was found (Emily Pennink/PA)

 

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