Suspected serial killer to stand trial in April

An alleged serial killer accused of drugging and murdering four young men over 14 months will stand trial in April next year.

Stephen Port, 40, allegedly met his victims on gay websites and invited them to his house where he poisoned them with party drug GHB.

After suffering from overdoses, the men, in their 20s, were dumped in or near a churchyard in east London.

On Sunday, Port, of Cooke St, Barking, east London, was charged with four counts of murder and four counts of administering a poison with intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm.

Yesterday, Port appeared at the Old Bailey via video link from Pentonville prison. The defendant sat with his head bowed and spoke only to confirm his name during the short preliminary hearing.

Recorder of London Nicholas Hilliard, set a provisional timetable for the case with a plea and case management hearing on January 6 and a trial on April 11.

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees estimated that the trial would take four weeks.

No application for bail was made and Port was remanded in custody.

The deaths were not initially linked but after further investigation they were referred to the Metropolitan Police homicide and major crime command on October 14.

The force has referred its handling of the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.


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