Words: Alastair James; pictures: Anthony Walgate, Daniel Whitworth, Gabriel Kovari, and Jack Taylor (Met Police)
The families of the four gay men murdered by Stephen Port are to be compensated by The Metropolitan Police, according to a report.
In a report in The Times on Tuesday (30 August) it says that the families of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, and the partner of Daniel Whitworth have received out-of-court settlements.
Other claims have been received from the families of Whitworth and Jack Taylor. The Times reports that the Met has declined to comment on the amount although the report suggests Ricky Walmsley, Whitworth’s partner, has received a five-figure sum.
The BBC reports a Met Police spokesperson as saying, “We have previously apologised to the families for the police failings in this matter and understand the impact these have had and the distress caused. We apologise again now. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families as always.”
A spokeswoman for Hudgell Solicitors, which represents the families, has told the broadcaster: “No permission was sought from either family about making the settlements public, and there remain two families still to settle.
“We perhaps shouldn’t be surprised by the Met’s insensitivity to these families, but we would have expected far better.”
In June, the Independent Office for Police Conduct announced it would reinvestigate how the Metropolitan Police handled the murders carried out by Stephen Port.
The IOPC says an inquest last year brought new evidence to light from officers who had been subject to a previous IOPC investigation of the case between 2015 and 2018.
The inquest concluded that Met police failings “probably” contributed to the deaths of Port’s last three victims (Kovari, Taylor, and Whitworth)
A jury said police had “missed opportunities” in the first three investigations and that there were “fundamental failings in [the first two] investigations from the beginning.”
Failings included family members’ concerns being ignored and detectives turning down requests from borough officers to take over investigations.
Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth, and Jack Taylor were all in their early 20s when they died of GHB overdoses administered by Port in his East London home between June 2014 and September 2015.
Port was found guilty of murder in 2016 and given a whole-life tariff, meaning he will never be released from prison.
Attitude has contacted the Metropolitan Police for comment.
The Attitude September/October issue is out now.