A "monstrous" serial killer was today jailed for life for poisoning to death four gay men with lethal doses of a date rape drug. Stephen Port should die in prison, Justice Openshaw ruled at the Old Bailey court. The former chef, who was also convicted of a string of sex offences, lured his victims to his east London flat after meeting them online on the dating app 'Grindr' before plying them with a drug known as GHB. He had denied 29 charges in total but was found guilty of the murders after a trial. The judge, who described Port as "wicked and monstrous" noted in his ruling, "I have no doubt that the seriousness of the offending is so exceptionally high that the whole-life order is justified; indeed it is required". "The murders were committed as part of a persistent course of conduct of the defendant surreptitiously drugging these young men so that he could penetrate them while they were unconscious. A significant degree of planning went into obtaining the drugs in advance and in luring the victims to his flat," he said. Jurors heard Port disposed of his victims' mobile phones, repeatedly lied to police and planted a fake suicide note in the hand of one of his victims that acceptedblame for the death of another. The deaths of the four men - over a period of 15 months - bore striking similarities. Tim Duffield, senior investigating officer from Scotland Yard's Homicide and Major Crime Command, said, "These evil crimes have left entire families, a community and a nation in shock". During the trial it emerged that Port, a bus depot canteen chef, had been arrested and charged for lying about how the body of his first victim came to be found dumped outside the communal entrance to his flat in east London, in June 2014. He was bailed and went on to murder his second and third victims in August and September 2014.
Their bodies were found within three weeks, by the same dog walker, propped up in a sitting position in a graveyard near his flat. As part of an elaborate cover-up, Port faked and planted a suicide note purporting to have been written by one victim claiming he had taken his own life by overdosing on GHB in guilt over accidentally giving another victim a fatal dose of the drug during sex. Port was briefly jailed in March 2015 for perverting the course of justice in lying to police about one of the deaths but was released in June 2015. Three months later, in September, he murdered his fourth victim. Scotland Yard has admitted it missed "potential opportunities" while investigating the deaths. The UK's Independent Police Complaints Commission is examining the initial police response to the deaths of the four men.
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