Four Lives: Warnings ‘could save lives’ says mum of Stephen Port victim

Sarah Sak, whose son Anthony, 23, was the first of four young, gay men to be killed by Port via overdoses of the date rape drug GHB, appeared on the hit BBC podcast Newscast, where she said she recieved “worried” messages on social media from young, gay men and their parents.

The mother of Anthony Walgate, Grindr serial killer Stephen Port’s first victim, has said speaking out about her son’s death “could possibly save lives”.

Sarah Sak, whose son Anthony, 23, was the first of four young, gay men to be killed by Port via overdoses of the date rape drug GHB, appeared on the hit BBC podcast Newscast, where she said she recieved “worried” messages on social media from young, gay men and their parents.

Sarah, who was portrayed by actress Sheridan Smith in the drama Four Lives, which aired on BBC One this month, said it was “tragic” her son would never “get to fulfil his dreams”.

From left, Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor. Photos: Supplied/Met

Asked by presenter Adam Fleming whether Anthony’s death was difficult for her to discuss, Sarah, 55, of Hull, said: “No, definitely not, and I think, as well, the more I talk about it, the more it’s getting out there.

“I’ve had such a lot of interest shown on social media, especially quite a few from young, gay boys who say, ‘oh my god, I use dating apps, and I’m going to be so careful now’ or ‘I’m going to stop using them’.

“And also from parents of young, gay lads as well, saying they are so worrried etc. I think the more it keeps getting out there, the more it could possibly save lives.”

Sheridan Smith, as Sarah Sak, in BBC drama Four Lives. Photo: BBC

Of her fashion student son, Sarah said: “He was so full of life and he really did think the world revolved around him. He really did think he’d be famous - a fashion designer, he was going to make it in the world.

“He just loved life. He loved London, everything about it - the people, the places, the pace of it more than anything. It’s just so tragic that he’s never going to get to fulfil his dreams.”

She told listeners: “From the very beginning there was no interest in pursuing anything other than the fact that Anthony had taken the drug himself.

“Everybody was telling them it was wrong and it just seemed that everything Stephen Port told them they accepted - they didn’t question it. Everything he said, they took as a gospel.

“It was completely everyone of them. I do still believe that homophobia played a part in it. I do still believe if they’d have been four girls it would have been totally different.”

Following the conclusion of the inquests in east London in December into the Met Police’s role in the men’s deaths, which found that police failings “probably contributed” to three of the four murders, assistant commissioner Helen Ball said the finding was “devastating”.

She said: “Our thoughts are with everybody who loved these young men. We are so sorry for their loss. And we’re also deeply sorry that there were failings in the police response to the murders. I give my own and the Met’s heartfelt apologies.

"All those who loved Anthony, Gabriel, Daniel and Jack expected a professional and thorough police investigation into their deaths and it is a great sadness for me and everybody at the Met that this didn’t happen.

“The whole of the Met is committed to improving our investigations, our relationships and the trust people have in us.”

The podcast episode released on Friday, January 14, also interviewed BBC journalist Daniel DeSimone, who covered the Port case.