London

Relatives of victims of Stephen Port to sue Met Police

Relatives of the victims of Stephen Port
Image caption Donna and Jenny Taylor (L) Sarah Sak, Amanda Pearson (R) have said they will sue the Met over its failure to properly investigate the murder of their relatives

The families of three victims of serial killer Stephen Port are to sue the Metropolitan Police over its failure to investigate their murders.

Anthony Walgate, from Hull, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor were murdered by Port in 2014 and 2015.

Their relatives, Sarah Sak, Amanda Pearson and Donna and Jenny Taylor, told the Victoria Derbyshire programme the Met "must be held accountable".

Ms Sak accused the police investigating the murders of homophobia.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an investigation, part of which will examine whether discrimination played any part in the original police investigations.

Ms Sak, who is Mr Walgate's mother, said: "I keep thinking this: If they were four girls would it have been different?

"If Anthony had been a 23-year-old girl and then Gabriel and then Daniel, if they had all been girls in that area found in suspicious circumstances I think there would have been a lot more media coverage as well and a massive part of this investigation by the police was homophobic, I really do think that."

Port was sentenced to life in prison last month for the murders of all three men and of the murder of Gabriel Kovari, 22.

'Police didn't do jobs'

At the launch of the IPCC investigation commander Stuart Cundy, of the Met's Specialist Crime and Operations command, said he did not personally believe the Met was institutionally homophobic.

He highlighted the work the Met had done with LGBT communities both in the past and now to bolster relationships and promote confidence plus work to raise awareness of LGBT issues amongst officers and across the Met.

Donna and Jenny Taylor said they felt the Met played "a massive part" in their brother Jack's death.

Image caption Stephen Port will spend the rest of his life in jail for the murders of Anthony Walgate, Daniel Whitworth, Jack Taylor and Gabriel Kovari

Donna said: "Stephen Port obviously took Jack's life but we feel that the police didn't do their jobs, with any of the families.

"As far as we're concerned, they have played a massive part in Jack's death because if they had done their jobs properly, Jack would still be here today.

"There is no other way of looking at that and we feel we want them to be held accountable. We want the answers of why they didn't do this, didn't do that."

The officer in charge of the specialist crime and operations command has written to the families of the victims to apologise for missed opportunities and offer his condolences.

Ms Sak, from Hull, in East Yorkshire, told the programme the Met's apology was "a little too late".

'Not a party boy'

She added: "He [Port] had planted GMB on them. [The police thought] 'young gay lad. Oh he's had chemsex. Oh, done'.

"They were like that from the beginning, they just refused to investigate anything, didn't matter what you said to them they [just kept telling us] there was nothing to investigate."

Amanda Pearson told the programme: "Daniel wasn't a party boy… they [the police] didn't want to know about the personality of my son, they didn't want to know really, they had made up their minds and that came across."

And Jenny Taylor said: "We kept saying to them [the police] from the start if this was a woman you'd be doing a lot more than what you are."

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