Chef accused of killing gay men he met online tried to frame one

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Court artist sketch of Stephen Port appearing in the dock of the Old Bailey flanked by a security guard Stephen Port Slovakian Gabriel Kovari, 22, who had been living with Port, was found dead from a drugs overdose on August 28 2014.Then on September 20 2014, the body of Daniel Whitworth, 21, from Gravesend, was uncovered near the same spot clutching an apparent suicide note.Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC told jurors Port had made a “wicked attempt” to frame Mr Whitworth for the death of Mr Kovari. Mr Rees said the note turned out to be “a sham” as handwriting experts found it had been written by Port and not Mr Whitworth.Port denies 29 offences against a total of 12 men, including four murders, seven rapes, four sex assaults and administering a substance with intent. The trial continues. Anthony Walgate, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor Port was jailed for eight months for perverting the course of justice by lying to police about the circumstances of the death of his first alleged victim, 23-year-old fashion student Anthony Walgate.He had initially claimed not to know Mr Walgate after reporting a man collapsed outside his flat in June 2014, but later confessed to police that he had “panicked”, jurors at the Old Bailey were told.Mr Walgate, an occasional escort, had told a friend details of a planned sleepover with the man he had met through the Sleepyboys website, jokingly saying it was “in case I get killed”, the court heard.In an “extraordinary” twist of fate, Port’s second and third alleged victims were found by the same dog walker in a churchyard 400 metres from where he lived, the court heard. An alleged serial killer planted a suicide note on one victim in a “wicked attempt” to frame him for the death of another, a court has heard.Over a period of 15 months, Stephen Port surreptitiously plied four young gay men he had met online with fatal doses of date rape drug GHB so he could have sex with them while they were unconscious, jurors heard.The 41-year-old chef and former male escort allegedly dragged their bodies out of his flat in Barking, east London, and dumped them in or near a graveyard as he tried to cover up what he had done.center_img Court artist sketch of Stephen Port appearing in the dock of the Old Bailey flanked by a security guardCredit:Elizabeth Cook/PA The fake suicide note read: “I am sorry to everyone, mainly my family, but I can’t go on any more, I took the life of my friend Gabriel Kline (Kovari), we was just having some fun at a mate’s place and I got carried away and gave him another shot of G.”I didn’t notice while we was having sex that he had stopped breathing. I tried everything to get him to breathe again but it was too late, it was an accident, but I blame myself for what happened and I didn’t tell my family I went out.”I know I would go to prison if I go to the police and I can’t do that to my family and at least this way I can at least be with Gabriel again, I hope he will forgive me.”BTW Please do not blame the guy I was with last night, we only had sex then I left, he knows nothing of what I have done.”I have taken what g I have left with sleeping pills so if it does kill me it’s what I deserve. Feeling dizey now as took 10 min ago so hoping you understand my writing.”I dropped my phone on way here so it should be in the grass somewhere. Sorry to everyone. Love always. Daniel P W.” Mr Rees told jurors the note was written to give the impression Mr Whitworth had taken an overdose because he blamed himself for Mr Kovari’s death.At the time, police accepted the apparent suicide note on face value and did not investigate further, he said.Mr Whitworth’s movements before his death were not checked and no attempt was made to find “the guy I was with last night”, he said. Anthony Walgate, Daniel Whitworth and Jack TaylorCredit:Facebook I am sorry to everyone, mainly my family, but I can’t go on any more, I took the life of my friendfake suicide note Four of Stephen Port’s alleged victims suffered overdoses and were dumped in or near a churchyard in east LondonCredit:Facebooklast_img read more

Brexit chaos and poor road quality cause M20 to be voted least

The M20 during Operation Brock which has now been deactivated Credit:PA “The results show where Highways England should focus its efforts to maximise satisfaction, including reducing delays arising from accidents and improving user experience with journey time and road surface quality.”The M20 runs from London to Folkestone and is the main route from London to the Channel crossing and even onto Dover, via the extension of the A20. The 52-mile stretch is frequented with lorries, taking trade to and from Calais for access to Europe. Construction is currently underway to create a new junction linking the M20 with the A2070 with the road works expected to be completed this year. Between Junction 3 and Junction 5 aims to improve congestion have seen work upgrading the section to a smart motorway and this is due to be finished in 2020.It is the first time Transport Focus has published the findings of its new Strategic Roads User Survey, which covers motorways and major A-roads managed by Highways England.Other roads with low satisfaction ratings were the M6, which runs from the West Midlands to Cumbria at 72 per cent, A52 in the East Midlands at the same and the M25 which circumvates London at a marginally better 76 per cent. Meanwhile, the highest ranked motorway is the M11 at 92 per cent which links London with Cambridgeshire.  Brexit chaos and poor road quality cause M20 to be voted least satisfactory motorway in England as drivers complain of surfaces “full of potholes”. The motorway in Kent is England’s least popular motorway, according to major new research.A survey 8500 road users by watchdog Transport Focus found that the link between the ports at Dover and the M25 has an overall satisfaction rating of just 65 per cent. The road scored particularly badly for the quality of its surface at 59 per cent, which is 23 per cent lower than the national average.  One respondent described it as “bumpy, uncomfortable to drive on” while another said it is “full of potholes”.Drivers on the M20 have suffered disruption in recent months as one section is being converted into a smart motorway, while temporary barriers were installed as part of Operation Brock, which had planned for lorry chaos in the event of a no deal Brexit. Operation Brock has now been deactivated due to the Brexit delay.Journey time for the M20 also scored low with 66 per cent satisfaction compared to the national average of 82 per cent.  Of drivers dissatisfaction a spokesperson for Transport Focus said: “If you’re going to make a ferry and you’re stuck you will remember that no matter what kind of driver you are.”  Highways England said that in the year 2017-2018 they had ensured that 95.2 per cent of road surfaces required no further investigation for possible maintenance. Focusing on the overall satisfaction Pete Martin, Customer Service Director, Highways England, said: “We care about people using our network, and value independent research like this, alongside our own, which helps us to further understand how road users feel.“We are pleased this research shows the majority of motorists are satisfied, but we are not complacent, and will continue to work hard to help every driver have safer and smoother journeys to the people and places that matter most to them.” The M20 during Operation Brock which has now been deactivated  Highways England added that the scale of work they continue to deliver will provide long-term benefits to drivers by tackling congestion and making journey times more reliable. Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: “The Strategic Roads User Survey gives Highways England the most robust picture ever at a national, regional and individual road level of driver satisfaction on the motorways and major A roads that it manages.”This survey reflects the experience of all drivers – whether in cars, vans, lorries, coaches or on a motorbike – across a range of key issues. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more