A London man already facing four separate murder charges has been charged with rape, poisoning and sexual assault charges against eight other men.
Stephen Port, 41, from Barking, was arrested last October following the discovery of the bodies of four men between June 2014 and September 2015.
Three of the bodies were discovered – just several days apart – near the same East London churchyard.
Police did not initially think the deaths were related, but after tracing the movements of one of the victims, they questioned Port and decided that the deaths were connected.
Port was initially charged on four counts of murder and is currently being detained at Belmarsh Prison while he awaits trial.
It is alleged that he persuaded the four dead men – all aged between 21-25 – to visit him at his flat, where he is suspected of poisoning them with the drug GHB. It’s thought he met the young men gay dating websites/apps.
The dead men have previously been named as: Anthony Patrick Walgate, 23; Gabriel Kovari, 22; Daniel Whitworth, 21; and Jack Taylor, 25.
Six more counts of administering a poison, and seven charges of rape and four of sexual assault
Today, Port appeared by video link to the Old Bailey for a pre-trial hearing. It was during the hearing that it emerged publicly for the first time that he is being charged with offences against eight other men – all of whom are alive.
He is charged with six more counts of administering a poison, and seven charges of rape and four of sexual assault. This is in addition to the original four charges of murder and four of administering a poison.
All the charges cover the period 2011 to 2015.
Stephen Port spoke only to confirm his name and to plead not guilty to all charges. His trial is expected to begin 2 October.
After some commentators have questioned why it did not spot a pattern in the deaths sooner, the Metropolitan police has referred its handling of the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
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