Stephen Port

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Met Police

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Port was given a whole life prison term for four murders

A fresh inquest into the deaths of serial killer Stephen Port’s victims will focus on possible failings in the police investigation.

But the conduct of a coroner who failed to identify two deaths before Port was caught will not be investigated, the Old Bailey heard.

Port drugged and raped four young men in east London in 2014 and 2015.

The victims’ families have questioned why he was not stopped sooner.

Port, 44, was given a life sentence in 2016 for murdering Anthony Walgate, 23, Daniel Whitworth, 21, Gabriel Kovari, 22, and Jack Taylor, 25.

An earlier inquest into the deaths of Mr Whitworth and Mr Kovari, which reached an open conclusion, was quashed.

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Met Police

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Anthony Walgate (L) and Gabriel Kovari (R) were Port’s first victims

In the trial it transpired a fake suicide note found in Mr Whitworth’s hand – which had in fact been written by Stephen Port – said he had accidentally killed his lover Mr Kovari and was taking his own life as a result.

In fact, the two victims did not know one another.

Due to the potential complexity of the case, the volume of material and the considerable public interest, a judge was appointed to conduct an inquest into all four deaths.

Counsel for the Coroner Andrew O’Connor QC said: “The main focus of these inquests should be the adequacy of the police investigation into Mr Port.

“What this boils down to is evidence relating to these matters was not called at the inquest into Mr Kovari and Mr Whitworth’s deaths.”

He stressed Judge Munro QC would not be able to look at whether the original coroner in some way “failed”.

It is not yet known if Port will take part in the inquests.

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