Stephen Port has been jailed for life with parole. The 41-year-old was convicted of quadruple homicide. Mr. Port is believed to have met his victims on the dating app Grindr, and following their drugging, it is understood he raped and murdered them.
The murders took place between June 2014 and September 2015. Mr. Port left their bodies in the street or in his local graveyard in Barking, east London.
On hearing of the court’s ruling, some members of the families of four victims are said to have cheered, while others hurled abuse and some remained still. Port sat motionless in the Old Bailey dock when Mr Justice Openshaw told him he must die behind bars.
The former bus garage chef joins Peter Sutcliffe, Ian Brady and Dennis Nilsen in the small group of prisoners serving whole life sentences.
The fact Mr. Port used the app Grindr has been cause for debate. While some say attempts by police to blame gay dating app for Port’s killings is ‘victim blaming’, others urge caution when using such apps.
The location-based hookup app has garnered more than six million users, with 2.5 of them joining in the last 12 months.
But the issue of the safety of Grindr has taken a backseat after various allegations have been made about the Metropolitan Police.
Since his capture, arrest and conviction, certain aspects of the investigation have come to light. These revelations concern the police’s handling of information passed to them by the mother of the first victim.
Sarah Sak, 50, said she repeatedly begged detectives to investigate Mr. Port after her son Anthony Walgate, 23, was found dead outside Port’s flat with traces of the date-rape drug GHB in his body.
She was told by police there was “nothing to investigate”.
Since the subsequent murders, Mrs. Sak has spoken out again calming “A child could have worked out the cases were linked but the police refused to answer any of my questions or reopen Anthony’s case. They have so much to answer for.”
Not only has the alleged poor handling of Mrs. Sak’s suspicious caused aspersions on the Metropolitan Police Force, but so to has the disclosure that there have been 58 unexplained deaths involving date-rape drugs in the last 5 years.
The deaths, involving the popular party drug GHB, occurred between June 2011 and October 2015 and are now being re-examined. Whether or not these deaths are linked to Mr. Port remains to be seen.
All that is known now is that the Grindr Killer is behind bars.