Police ‘dismissed’ family fears that final Stephen Port victim was killed, inquest hears

The bodies of three of Stephen Port’s victims were found dumped in the same spot, in a Barking churchyard, yet police ignored family pleas to investigate further - and wouldn’t link the deaths.

<p>Stephen Port’s victims (L-R): Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor. Credit: Met Police</p>

Stephen Port’s victims (L-R): Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor. Credit: Met Police

The sister of a young man murdered by serial killer Stephen Port told an inquest her brother should “still be here” and that police dismissed evidence he had been murdered.

Donna Taylor, the sister of Jack Taylor, 25, who was Grindr killer Port’s final victim, has told an inquest she felt officers were dismissive of news reports she and her sister had found into previous bodies discovered in the graveyard Jack’s body was dumped in.

The bodies of two other victims, Gabriel Kovari and Daniel Whitworth, were both dumped in the exact spot where Mr Taylor was found.

Serial Killer Stephen Port. Credit: Met Police

The inquest was shown notes from Ms Taylor and her sister about previous stories in the Barking and Dagenham Post on the previous bodies found in the graveyard.

Ms Taylor said: “Could there be a connection? Is this something to do with Jack?

“We feel like we gave officers a major lead by connecting them to these articles.

“Instead of following up on them they dismissed us.

“We were told Daniel killed himself and Gabriel was homeless.”

She said they told the police they “did not want to be right” with their suspicions, the inquest heard.

“We couldn’t bear the thought that someone had hurt our Jack but please don’t dismiss us,” she said.

“He wouldn’t have walked in the dark on his own. He was petrified of the dark.”

She said she and her sister had had “suspicions” about their brother’s sexuality and that he never told them he was gay, but it would have made no difference to them.

Stephen Port victim Jack Taylor’s family speak after the court case into the serial killer in 2016. The inquests into his victims start today. Credit: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

The inquest heard that it wasn’t until the criminal trial which convicted Stephen Port that Ms Taylor realised “we had given them everything they needed to link the deaths”.

In a statement read to the jury, Ms Taylor said: “Their close-minded attitude meant that they were not even open to considering what we were telling them.

“It was painful for me to realise. My brother should still be here. He should still be at home with my mum and dad. My mum should not have had a breakdown.

“My dad should not have had to sit here and do the most horrific thing after losing his son.”

Ms Taylor also said she was grateful to the officer who came and spoke to her family after they had had no contact from police in the days after Jack’s death.

“My brother was not an animal found on the street - he was a person,” she said.

“We never had a problem with particular officers.”

However Sgt Matt Laffan denied Donna’s evidence that she raised fears about the other bodies being found, after reading articles in the Barking and Dagenham Post.

Sgt Laffan said he met with Ms Taylor on September 25, but said: “I don’t recall it being brought to my attention at that point, no.”

He later added: “I don’t have a recollection of it being brought forward.”

The inquest was told Port found his victims on gay chat sites before drugging them with date rape drug GHB and dumping their bodies in the churchyard.

Port, now 46, was given a whole-life order in 2016 for the murders of Anthony Walgate, 23, Mr Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Mr Taylor, 25.

The inquest continues.