Stephen Port’s laptop was not examined until he had killed three times, according to an inquest report

Stephen Port’s laptop was not examined until he had killed three times, according to an inquest report

The Toshiba PC was seized from Port’s flat in Barking, east London, after the death of Walgate, whose body was found propped outside the block of flats’ communal door on 19 June 2014. The Metropolitan police’s homicide command advised Barking police to submit Port’s laptop and phone for download on 27 June 2014. But it was not until the following April, when Barking officers were preparing for an inquest into Walgate’s death, that the computer was submitted for scientific examination at the coroner’s request, the inquest heard.

An inquest heard that serial killer Stephen Port’s laptop was not submitted for forensic testing by police until ten months after his first victim’s death, by which time he had killed two more people. The device revealed that Port had examined literature portraying unconscious male drug rape, including the use of the date rape drug GHB, days before arranging to meet Anthony Walgate, 23, a fashion student from Hull, a jury was told. Between June 2014 and September 2015, Port’s victims were given deadly dosages of the narcotic GHB before being raped and their bodies discarded near his flat in Barking, east London.

It was not until June 2015, one year after Walgate’s death, that Barking police received a USB stick with the downloaded computer data on it. Port had gone on to murder Gabriel Kovari, 22, and Daniel Whitworth, 21, three weeks apart in August and September 2014, the jury was told. Giving evidence, DS David Parish, who was a trainee detective at Barking at the time, said he had not been allocated the task of submitting the laptop for examination in 2014. When he did submit it, in April 2015, he received a USB with downloaded material in June 2015.

He told the jury while he did note Port had accessed gay pornography sites, he did not recall seeing the drug rape sites accessed before Walgate’s death, nor the social media accounts and messages that were also available on the laptop. “With hindsight, and looking back, that’s a mistake on my part,” Parish said. Beatrice Collier, counsel for the inquiry, asked:“If you had, would you have suspected Port might be responsible for the death?” College friends of Walgate said they told police they suspected Port had killed him. China Dunning, who had reported Walgate missing, subsequently told one officer: “This guy’s dodgy as fuck. He’s done something to Anthony.” Keira Brennan, another friend, said she felt police had closed their minds to how Walgate had died and taken Port’s account as correct. “Port must have had a laptop, a mobile phone. Go and get that. Why wouldn’t you go and get that. Surely it must be an important thing to do,” she told the jury.

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