Published: 15:00, 05 October 2016 |
Updated: 08:29, 06 October 2016
A gay serial killer poisoned a string of young men he met on dating website Grindr so he could rape them before dumping their bodies, a court heard today.
Stephen Port, 41, met young men on Grindr and other sites, before drugging them with 'liquid ecstasy' and attacking them while they were unconscious.
Among his alleged victims was 21-year-old former Dartford Grammar student Daniel Whitworth, 21, from Gravesend.
Between 2012 and 2015, Port carried out a series of sexual offences against 12 young men - four who died from drug overdoses, the Old Bailey was told.
After they died, he dumped three of the bodies, propped up in a sitting position, in a nearby churchyard, and one outside his block of flats, jurors heard.
Port tried to cover up the murders, and planted a fake suicide note on one of the victims, the court heard.
His "appetite" for raping young men who had been drugged is reflected in the "drug rape" pornography Port watched, it was said.
Outlining the prosecution's case, Jonathan Rees QC said: "The prosecution say that it is a case about a man, the defendant, who in the pursuit of nothing more than his own sexual gratification variously drugged, sexually assaulted and, in four cases, killed young gay men who he had invited back to his flat.
"He has described himself as 70 per cent more gay than straight, and said that he was particularly attracted to smaller, boyish-type men.
"As you will hear, such young males are often referred to as 'twinks' in this context."
Port used social networking sites, including Grindr, to meet other gay men and to buy drugs to use during his sexual encounters, the court heard.
While some of his relationships with other men were "little more" than one night stands, others lasted longer, it was said.
Mr Rees said: "The evidence establishes that in his sexual relations with other men, the defendant would penetrate his partner rather than the other way round.
"This is sometimes referred to as being dominant, or a 'top', while the other role is referred to as being submissive, or a 'bottom'."
He continued: "The prosecution suggest that it is not a hard case to understand because we say all of the offending behaviour was driven by one main factor, namely the defendant's appetite for having sexual intercourse with younger, gay males while they were unconscious through drugs.
"In order to satisfy this appetite, the defendant sought surreptitiously to drug 11 out of 12 of his alleged victims in order to render them unconscious."
Port drugged his victims by spiking their drinks or injecting them with drugs which he claimed were lubrication, the court heard.
In some cases it worked but in others it didn't, jurors were told.
Mr Rees said: "The defendant's appetite for penetrating drugged young men is reflected in the pornography that he watched.
"Much of the pornography for which he searched and viewed fell into the category of what might be termed 'drug-rape' pornography, featuring males and females apparently being raped while unconscious or stupefied through drugs.
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