Family of serial killer Stephen Port’s victims speak out ahead of inquest

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Family of serial killer Stephen Port’s victims speak out ahead of inquest

Police officers should be “held accountable for their failings” in their handling of the murder case of a Hull man.

The relatives of one of the four victims of serial killer and rapist Stephen Port said they hope justice will be served, and “no family should have to go through” what they have endured.

Anthony Walgate, 23, a fashion student from Hull, was killed by Port in June 2014. His body was found outside of Port’s flat.

Between August 2014 and September 2015, Port went on to murder Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21 and Jack Taylor, 25.

Stephen Port and Anthony Walgate
Stephen Port and Anthony Walgate

The police watchdog is now looking at whether any charges of gross misconduct should be brought against officers involved in the initial inquiry which allowed Port to slip through the net.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) findings are not expected to be published until the conclusion of the inquest into the deaths of the young men next year.

Speaking ahead of an initial inquest hearing, Jack Taylor’s sister, Donna Taylor, said: “I think we are all hoping the inquest will highlight just what officers did not do when they could have done.

“In the long run we are hoping for justice and certain officers to be held accountable.

Anthony Walgate, 23 was killed by Stephen Port
Anthony Walgate, 23 was killed by Stephen Port

“I think that, if justice is brought towards the officers that did not do what they were supposed to and could have saved lives, that would be the best outcome that we could hope for, and, once that has happened, things are in place that this does not ever happen to anyone else because no family should have to go through what we have.”

Port was found guilty of four murders following a trial at the Old Bailey and handed a whole life sentence in November 2016.

Calls have now been made for the full inquest into the deaths to be heard at the High Court or the Old Bailey, due to the complexity of the case.

Last month, the IOPC said its investigation was nearing completion but it had yet to make recommendations on whether to take action against any of the 16 serving officers involved.

London's High Court
London’s High Court

The watchdog interviewed 17 officers under notice – seven under gross misconduct notice, and 10 under misconduct notice.

One officer, who was interviewed under a misconduct notice, has since resigned from the Metropolitan Police.

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The IOPC is not expected to publish its findings until after the fresh inquest into all the deaths has concluded in 2019.

The families of all four victims are being represented by Hull-based specialist lawyers Hudgell Solicitors.

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