New inquests into the murders of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor, at the hands of 45-year-old Stephen Port, have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, causing disappointment among the victim’s families. Port murdered the four men between 2014 and 2015 in London, after luring them in on gay dating apps such as Grindr, and then giving them overdoses of GHB (commonly known as the date rape drug). He was found guilty of murder in 2016 and setenced to life in prison, but inquests into the events have continued since then.
In a ruling published on the inquest website, judge Sarah Munro said the latest series of inquests has to be postponed due to rising Covid-19 rates: “I have come to the view that were the inquests to commence the chances of them reaching a conclusion are minimal. Given the current covid-19 figures, the high likelihood is that certain of the participants will need to self isolate either as a result of symptoms pending a test, a positive test or, for example, a member of their household or support bubble testing positive.”
Neil Hudgell, solicitor for the four families, said: “Anthony, Gabriel, Daniel and Jack were murdered between August 2014 and September 2015. Given the years that have passed you can understand why the families are so disappointed by this delay. However, they understand the reasons and stand ready to assist the coroner with her inquiries when the inquest opens.”