Alleged serial killer Stephen Port back in court over deaths of four men

Alleged serial killer Stephen Port has appeared back in court over the deaths of four men in east London. The 40-year-old, from Barking was charged earlier this week with four counts of murder and of “administering a poison with intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm” in relation to the deaths of four men between June 2014 and September this year. He is due to stand trial in April next year. stephen2 Port, who is accused of poisoning men he met via gay dating app Grindr with the party drug GHB before dumping their bodies in and around a nearby churchyard, appeared at the Old Bailey for the first time via videolink from Pentonville prison, speaking only to confirm his name, The Telegraph reports. During the brief preliminary hearing, Recorder of London Nicholas Hilliard QC set a provisional timetable for the case, with Mr Port's plea hearing scheduled for January 6, ahead of an expected four-week trial on April 11. No application for bail was made and Port will remain remanded in custody. victims

Three of Port's four alleged victims: Anthony Walgate, 23, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Jack Taylor, 25

The chef's first alleged victim, Anthony Walgate, 23, was found dead on Cooke Street on June 19 last year. He was a fashion and design student at Middlesex University who was originally from Hull and living in Barnet. The second victim, Gabriel Kovari, 22, was found by a dog walker near St Margaret's churchyard on August 28 last year. He was originally from Slovakia but lived in Lewisham, south London. Just under a month later, on September 20, the same dog walker discovered the body of a friend of Mr Kovari's, Daniel Whitworth, in the same location. The 21-year-old from Gravesend, Kent, was found with a supposed suicide note in which he blamed himself for the death of Mr Kovari. Then on September 14 this year, Jack Taylor, 25, a forklift truck driver from Dagenham, was found dead near the abbey ruins close to North Street. He disappeared after a night out with friends on the evening of Saturday 12 September, and police have urged the public to come forward with information about his movements that night. barking

The bodies of the alleged victims were all found in or near to St Margaret's Churchyard in Barking, East London, over a 15 month period

The four men's death were not initially linked by police, but after further investigation they were referred to the Metropolitan Police homicide and major crime command on October 14. The force has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over its handling of the case. More stories: AHS: Hotel slammed as most ‘vile, shocking TV content ever’ Disney star to play Brent Corrigan in James Franco’s new gay porn drama