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Grindr gay serial killer Stephen Port's victim Daniel Whitworth's step-mum raising funds for legal help as date for second inquest is set

The step-mother of a young gay man murdered by a serial killer has spoken of her quest to raise £10,000 for legal assistance ahead of a second inquest.

The body of Daniel Whitworth, 21, of Nine Elms Road, Gravesend, was dumped in a churchyard in Barking, Essex, by Stephen Port after he had drugged and raped him in 2014.

At an inquest in June 2015 it was ruled Mr Whitworth and Gabriel Kovari, who was found in the same spot a month before, died after overdosing on GHB and methadone.

Daniel Whitworth, 21, a former Dartford Grammar School student, from Gravesend
Daniel Whitworth, 21, a former Dartford Grammar School student, from Gravesend

A suicide note found in former Dartford Grammar pupil Mr Whitworth's possession stated he blamed himself after accidentally administering a fatal dose of GBH to his lover Mr Kovari during an orgy.

But after their deaths were linked to those of Anthony Walgate and Jack Taylor, Port was eventually charged with and convicted of four counts of murder. Mr Whitworth's suicide note had been forged by him.

Port, a 41-year-old chef dubbed the 'Grindr killer', is currently serving a life sentence.

At his trial a number of failures in the police's handling of the investigation were flagged up, an Independent Office for Police Conduct was ordered into the actions of 17 officers involved in the case, and it was recently revealed that a 380-page report will now be made available to the families of the four men.

The Met is now investigating 58 drug-related deaths from the years before Port was finally brought to justice.

Last November the inquest verdicts were quashed and earlier this month new hearings were ordered into all four deaths. They will take place next year.

Now Mr Whitworth's step-mother Mandy Pearson, of Cobham Terrace, Greenhithe, has spoken about her continuing fight for justice.

Under the banner 'Justice for our Murdered Boys' the families have set up a crowd funding campaign.

She said: "The fund will help us pay for specialist representation in court at the inquests next year. We've set a target of £10,000. That won't cover all the expenses but it will go a long way towards our final aim, whatever that might be."

Daniel Whitworth's stepmum Mandy Pearson
Daniel Whitworth's stepmum Mandy Pearson

While the families have got pro bono legal support they believe specialist help is needed in order to contend with the resources of Barking and Dagenham Police.

She added: "Meanwhile the families have to go and beg. I find that incredibly unfair.

"We all feel very let down by the system. Those boys would be alive today if the police had done their job. Even though the perpetrator is behind bars forever we still have not got justice.

"In order to fight these big fish we need as much help as we can get financially. If we don't get the money whatever we have raised so far will be lost."

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