An alleged serial killer accused of drugging and murdering four men he met on gay dating websites has been charged with further attacks on eight others. Stephen Port, 41, who is accused of luring men to his flat in east London before killing them, was originally charged with four counts of murder and four counts of administering a poison.
He is also accused of six further counts of administering a poison, seven of rape and four sexual assaults against another eight men, it can be reported for the first time. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges, which allegedly took place between 2011 and 2015, at the Old Bailey on Monday.
Port, of Cooke Street, Barking, east London, sat with his hands clasped in front of him as each of the charges was read out in court.
Appearing in court via video link from Belmarsh prison, wearing smart black trousers and a light shirt, he spoke only to confirm his name and enter pleas during the brief hearing.
He is due to stand trial in October after the hearings were delayed for six months because of the scale of the police investigation into his alleged crimes.
Port allegedly met the men on gay websites and invited them to his house, where he is said to have poisoned them with the party drug GHB. Four of his alleged victims, all in their 20s, suffered overdoses and were dumped in or near a churchyard in east London.
The first alleged victim, Anthony Walgate, 23, was found dead on Cooke Street on 19 June 2014. He was a fashion and design student at Middlesex University who was originally from Hull but was living in Barnet.
Gabriel Kovari, 22, was found by a dog walker near St Margaret’s churchyard on 28 August 2014. Originally from Slovakia, he lived in Lewisham, south London.
Just under a month later, on 20 September, the same dog walker discovered the body of Daniel Whitworth, 21, from Gravesend, Kent, near the churchyard.
On 14 September last year, Jack Taylor, 25, a forklift truck driver from Dagenham, was found dead near the abbey ruins close to North Street.
The deaths were not initially linked but after further investigation they were referred to the Metropolitan police homicide and major crime command on 14 October last year.
The force has referred its handling of the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.