Jury finds Metropolitan Police failings led to deaths

The inquests into the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth, and Jack Taylor, the four men, aged between 21 and 25 years old, murdered by serial killer Stephen Port between 2014 and 2015, concluded today at Barking Town Hall since evidence hearings started on 5 October 2021.

Jurors at the inquests into the deaths concluded that police failings “probably” contributed to the deaths of victims, all of whom were unlawfully killed. They were unanimous in identifying fundamental failings and basic errors in the investigation into Anthony’s death which meant that Port was not stopped, and was allowed to carry on with his terrible acts.

During the eight weeks of hearings, police admitted failing to carry out basic checks, send evidence to be scientifically examined and exercise professional curiosity during the 16 months of Port’s killings and “despite hearing assurances from one of the most senior officers in the Met, the coroner is not convinced that enough change has happened to prevent similar deaths in future.” A statement from the families’ lawyer Neil Hudgell of Hudgell Solicitors, as read out at the press conference following the conclusions, is available here.

The victims’ families were represented by Henrietta Hill QC and Tom Stoate, instructed by Neil Hudgell and Victoria Richardson of Hudgell Solicitors.

Further details about the rulings can be found on the inquests website here

More coverage available on The Guardian and BBC.