The GHB poisoner

A Grindr ‘hustler’ who supplied serial killer Stephen Port with his lethal GHB was jailed for 31 years for murdering an energy company boss with the same drug.

Gerry Matovu, 25, was dealing the chemsex drug to Port, 44, when he was using it to kill four victims and rape dozens of others.

Matovu and his boyfriend Brandon Dunbar, 23, preyed on their casual lovers by spiking their drinks with GHB to steal from them and fund their own massive chemsex habits.

For 19 months they lived in an almost non-stop orgy of drugs and all night sex with men they met on dating websites.

After the GHB had left their victims helpless the pair took not their laptops, phones and cash snapped pictures of their credit cards to use for taxi fares and to buy goods online.

They would also load up suitcases and holdalls with any clothes they fancied and even worthless ‘trophies’ like lightbulbs and toilet brushes.

Many of their 12 victims were too embarrassed to report them and police believe many more have not come forward.

The pair would have carried on with their crime spree if Matovu had not given Eric Michels, 56, an overdose.

Eric Michels

Father-of-three Mr Michels, who had an uncredited role in the James Bond film ‘Skyfall’, was found dead in his bed by his 14 year-old daughter after he invited Matovu to his home in Chessington, Surrey.

Matovu gave him GHB so he could make off with his phone, laptop and bank cards.

The following day he and Dunbar preyed on another man at Dunbar’s flat by injecting GHB into his backside.

The 28-year-old was lucky to survive after he was found outside naked and comatose, lying in a heap of bin bags.

When Dunbar was arrested shortly afterwards he was still high and watching hard core gay porn.

Matovu alone was convicted of the murder of Mr Michels along with six counts of administering poison or noxious substance so as to endanger life, seven thefts, six counts of possessing articles for use in fraud, assault by penetration, assault occasioning ABH and possession with intent to supply 500ml of GHB.

He had earlier admitted six other theft charges and six counts of possessing articles for use in fraud.

Dunbar was found guilty of three counts of administering poison or noxious substance so as to endanger life, five thefts, six counts of possessing articles for use in fraud, fraud, assault by penetration and assault occasioning ABH.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to another fraud along with dishonestly retaining wrongful credit.

Mr Michels’ wife Diane and two sons are expected in court later to see the killer jailed.

The family sat in court throughout the trial and heard how the pair’s first victim was a 53-year-old man who met the pair through a gay pick up site called Adam for Adam on December 10, 2016 and invited them to his house in Wanstead, east London.

They all went upstairs to his bedroom and during a sex session Matovu gave the victim a soft drink which left him unconscious minutes later.

The victim’s boyfriend returned home to find Matovu leaving the flat in his coat with his boyfriend’s Vivienne Westwood bag on his arm.

Matovu was made to return the items but escaped took 115 Euros and some other items of clothing.

On the night of February 25, 2017 a nurse hooked up with Matovu on the Grindr app and both men turned up at his home in Bermondsey.

Brandon Dunbar

After having sex with them the nurse was given a drink and did not regain consciousness until 4pm the following afternoon.

He was unable even to stagger the toilet and later found the pair had stolen his computer, some items of clothing, together with his travel pass and iPhone.

On October 6, 2017, a Grindr user arranged a meeting with the pair at an address they were using in Eagle Lane, Snaresbrook.

After they all had sex together the two men stole the victim’s wallet from his trousers and photographed his cards to use them for taxi rides and make purchases on Google Play.

Three weeks later on October 26 another man went to the Eagle Lane address after contacting Dunbar on Grindr.

Dunbar invited him into the shower with him so Matovu could got through his bags and steal his phone, cash and an Amazon Firestick.

When he discovered what had happened the pair reluctantly returned his phone but kept the cash and the Firestick.

A 43-year-old man invited Dunbar and Matovu over when his parents were away at his home in Cuxton, Kent on the night of January 3, 2018 and awoke the next morning to find they had vanished with three laptops.

He had a single gin and tonic before going upstairs to have sex and then passed out and did not wake up until the following afternoon with a carpet burn on his knee.

Matovu and Dunbar leave after another hustle

The pair also took photographs of his Mastercard and used it to pay for Uber fares.

On 30 March 2018 a Grindr user arranged to meet up with two males known as Brandon and Gerry who described themselves as friends – even though he had never met them before.

He went to an address in Romford Road, Forest Gate, and was shown up to the studio flat on the first floor.

When the victim went to have sex with Dunbar in the shower, Matovu rifled though this rucksack and took pictures of his HSBC bank card which the pair attempted to use.

Another Grindr user contacted Matovu in the early hours of April 14 after returning from a night out drinking with workmates and invited him to this flat in Bermondsey.

They all had sex before the victim passed out and the pair made off with items including his headphones, an Amazon Firestick, three watches phone and cash.

Pictures were also taken of his bank cards and identity documents and the pair attempted to use the details.

The victim, awoke lying face down and naked on his bedroom floor the following afternoon.

A Dutch businessman was staying at the Viking Hotel in Stratford, east London on 10 May and contacted Matovu on Grindr.

When the victim took a shower Matovu slipped GHB into his glass of wine, knocking him out for ten hours.

Matovu took his laptop, a tablet, two phones, some clothing and a travel bag.

He also grabbed the hotel TV and a toilet brush.

Matovu gave the name ‘PourItUp’ to the Grindr contact who became his victim when the hustler travelled to his home on July 20.

When the victim went out to make a cup of tea Matovu, took £125 and 350 Euros, together with and a Samsung S6 mobile phone.

He also used the details of the victim’s NatWest business account to carry to buy a litre of product called Procleaner.

It is use to clean alloy wheels but is largely a chemical called GBL – almost identical to GHB.

Five days later on July 25 Matovu was giving a man oral sex at the flat on Romford Road when he passed out.

Matovu and Dunbar stole his £1,000 phone and used his bank card details to buy pizza and more GBL.

Mr Michels, who was born in the USA before moving to Britain in the 1980s, worked in human resources as a company executive for the energy firm SEE.

He was also a part-time actor who made brief appearances in Skyfall and the Tom Cruise movie Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

Mr Michels had been married for 23 years before his sexual preferences emerged and he separated from his wife after he had an affair with another man.

Matovu and Dunbar using Mr Michels’ credit card

On 17 August last year, he was out in Soho in clubs such as Q, Village, and Gay Bar, when he contacted Matovu on Grindr.

They agreed to meet up and have sex and Mr Michels suggested they went to his home in Chessington, Surrey.

After stopping off at a Sainsburys on the way they arrived at Mr Michels’ Chessington home a 2:45am.

At 6am Mr Michels’ son was woken up by Matovu who came into his bedroom claiming asking for the bathroom.

Later that morning Matovu took a photograph of an envelope bearing Eric Michels’ name and address and his Lloyds Bank card.

Over the next couple of hours, Matovu took further photographs of Mr Michels’ Santander Bank card, his driving licence, details of various email addresses and passwords, his Apple ID login and other information.

At this time Mr Michels was either dead or unconscious.

Matovu packed a suitcase with Mr Michels’ MacBook, a mobile phone, an initialled black case, his American driving licence, a passport photograph and various cards, including his Lloyds Bank Visa card and called a taxi.

The Lloyds card would be used to buy a Samsung S8 phone and Xbox accessories.

He put the suitcase in the taxi and even returned to the house to steal some bottles of alcohol before the driving off.

That afternoon Mr Michels’ 14-year-old daughter texted her father asking if he wanted to go for a meal before she went away on holiday.

When he did not reply she tried again and Matovu impersonated her dad replying: ‘Hello hun im a little busy talk soon’.

The unfamiliar tone of the message alerted the teenager who rang up to find out what was happening.

Matovu hung up after she told him who she was.

Concerned for her father’s safety, she asked her mother to drive her to Chessington.

‘She found her father lying motionless in bed with the duvet pulled up over his nose,’ said prosecutor Jonathan Rees.

‘She attempted to rouse him by shouting his name but to no avail.

The syringe used to kill Mr Michels

‘Her mother then entered the property and pulled the duvet off his face to reveal that Mr Michels had dried blood and green bile near his lips. He was not breathing.’

The day after Mr Michels’ body was discovered a 28-year-old went to Dubar’s flat in Romford Road after contacting him on Grindr.He had sex with Dunbar and smoked crystal meth with the pair.

Dunbar then injected the GHB into his bottom and he was found later that night lying naked in the bin bags outside the flat, snoring and bleeding from his nose.

When police knocked on Dunbar’s door they found him ‘excitable and in his own world’ watching hardcore homosexual pornography on a large wall mounted TV.

He denied any knowledge of the comatose man, but detectives investigating the death of Mr Michels arrived and the final victim’s rucksack, house keys, a FitBit, a wallet and clothing were found in the flat.

Matovu’s connection to Port was revealed found in 2015 when his number was found in then serial killer’s mobile.

He was given a 12 month community order for supplying drugs to Port after he told the court he was ‘no longer in a party lifestyle’.

Matovu was lying – he had preyed on his first two victims after his arrest for supplying Port.

He was to tell his murder trial he could not remember many details of the orgy of sex drugs and theft which passed him a blur.

‘I was high out my head. I feel terrible about it now,’ he said.

Both men told the jury that their victims had administered the drugs themselves but admitted stealing from some of them them when they were comatose.

Matovu, of Guildford Street, Southwark, and Dunbar, of High Road, Ilford, are due to sentenced later today (weds).

Port was handed a whole life term in 2016 for raping and murdering four young men and dumping their bodies near his home in Barking, east London, between 2014 and 2015.

Matovu who now identifies as a woman, appeared via video link from HMP Wandsworth wearing purple eyeshadow, lipstick and highlighter as he was jailed for 31 years and Dunbar was jailed for 18.

Matovu now identifies as a woman 

He drummed his acrylic nails on the table as Mr Michel’s ex-wife Diane said in a statement to the court: ‘On a beautiful sunny day in August 2018 our family world changed forever.

‘Within the space of a few hours we went from preparing a family holiday to the worst nightmare imaginable.

‘When I wake up for a split second everything is normal, then the inevitable avalanche of emotion descends upon me and it is crushing.

‘Every day since this has happened we’ve had to get up and go through the motions of the day but our world has been changed forever.

‘At times I want to scream out: ‘Stop the world! Eric is dead!’

‘When we divorced we worked very hard to be good joint parents to our children.

‘We shared family holidays, birthdays and Christmas together to create those memories.

‘All that has been taken away and we have had to adjust to being a family of four.

‘I feel an enormous pressure to be all things to the children, both mother and father, [and am] overcome with grief, panic and fear.

‘I struggle to deal with my own pain and guilt at being alive [and] dealing with being the sole parent and running a small business.

‘At times this is so overwhelming we fear we are not up to the task.

‘I am also painfully aware of other voiceless individuals who have been affected.

‘Eric’s elderly parents are completely broken in their grief.

‘The ripple of his loss extends far and wide.

‘I was always glass-half-full person, now I view others with distress and I’m wary.

‘I never imagined that people could be so wicked and my fear and anxiety for those I care for is entirely unimaginable.

‘I shall never ever forget [Matovu] accusing my gentle ex-husband of rape. It ripped my soul to pieces.

‘[My 15-year-old daughter] saw her father’s lifeless body in bed with blood and bile coming from his mouth.

Mr Michel’s sons, Sam and Josh at court

‘The last person who Eric ever saw was the person who took his life, stealing from him and listening to the radio.

‘That haunts us and will continue to haunt us forever.

‘I used to embrace the future now, I dread every milestone Eric won’t be there.

‘He will never walk my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day.

‘He will never see his children graduate.

‘He will never see or hold his grandchildren all these special memories that should be part of our lives have been callously taken away from us.

‘I watch my children trying to piece their lives together as best they can.

‘I’m so proud of them, but I’m overcome by an immense sadness because their dad who they loved so very much was taken away, on a beautiful sunny day in August last year.’

Eric’s children were unable to speak and had their harrowing statements read to the court.

The victim’s oldest son, Josh, said: ‘The impact this has had on our lives is unreal.

‘The most important man in our lives has gone forever.

‘I regret that I didn’t see him every single minute of every single day to tell him how amazing he was, to say how proud I was to call him dad and to say how much I loved him.

‘He won’t get to smile again. He won’t get to meet my children.

‘I would give anything to have him back. Every single year we still have to celebrate Father’s Day, Easter and so many more things without him.

‘His memory will continue to live through his children.’

Sam, 21, who was in the house the night his dad died, noted the lack of remorse shown by the killers during the trial and said of them: ‘You have taken away so much more than you have given.

‘He cared so much more than you care.

‘You’ve taken away my immediate family and the home we worked on together since we moved in.

‘You’ve taken away all the lessons my dad was yet to teach me. My dad had the answers to everything and was the person I’d always call for advice.

‘I am completely lost.

‘He can never ever be replaced.

‘I now have to deal with the stress of growing up so much quicker than I would have.

‘I feel like I can’t enjoy being young.

‘It is so daunting to me every day if he were here this would not be the case.

‘Losing dad affects so many people, not just the immediate family.

‘My mum loved my father dearly and their relationship had stayed strong despite their divorce.

‘Hearing the defendant accuse my father of rape was soul-destroying.

‘I was so proud of my father and will continue to be until the day I die.

‘He deserves nothing but justice for what happened to him’.

Mr Michel’s 15-year-old daughter, who found her dad dead in his flat, said in a statement read by the prosecution: ‘This traumatic event has impacted my life so drastically that I no longer feel I’m the same person.

‘I cannot believe I’ll never see amazing father again.

‘I’ll never forget the moment when a disgusting man answered my dad’s phone and pretended to be my dad.

‘I knew it wasn’t my lovely dad and the memory and shock of it is still with me every day at 14’.

Speaking of how her father’s death had impacted her, the young girl said: ‘There are certain songs I can’t listen to without breaking down, smells that reminds me of my dad reduce me to tears.

‘Seeing other children with their dad overwhelms me and makes me feel panic and loss.

‘I will miss the lovely way he used to call me his princess.

‘My dad was my best friend as well as my father.

‘I could talk to him about anything so it’s really hard to accept I’ve lost both.

‘He used to make me laugh every day and was a beautiful man.

‘The pain of knowing I can’t have him back is so immense that it is physical as well as mental.’

The grief-stricken family wept together as the ‘callous’ pair were sentenced.

Tana Adkin, QC, defending Matovu, argued that the murder was an accident.

‘He fully expected Mr Michels to recover,’ she said.

She added that Matovu struggled with gender identity and had been encouraged by Dunbar.

‘The downward spiral can be tracked with her chaotic lifestyle during the period of time she was with Dunbar.’

Charles Miskin, QC, defending Dunbar, argued it was Matovu who had influenced Dunbar, and that the relationship had since been ‘permanently severed’.

He added: ‘He’s not very bright. His personality has been damaged by the drugs he took over those many years’.

Judge Anne Molyneux, told the pair: ”You met five or six years ago and began intimate relationship and ended in 2016.

‘Ms Matovu now identifies as female.

‘Between December 2016 and August 2018 you lived entirely for your own gratification with no disregard for the well being of others.

‘You did not care about the consequences of your actions you use prohibited drugs on a daily basis in particular GHB.

‘You were both well aware of dangerous aspects of that drug.

‘You had no legitimate employment, your lifestyle was funded by fraud and when police searched your property bank cards from your victims were found.

‘Your method was simple and calculated.

‘You were predators you worked as a team and you met people for sex, usually using Grindr.

‘You would meet men together or separately.

‘G was often a feature of the sex which followed.

‘As every opportunity either created by you. You stole from men so you could carry out fraud.

‘When a man came to your home he would be distracted, while having sex with one of you usually Mr Dunbar the other would help himself to his property.

‘For example on one occasion Mr Dunbar was having sex with a man this man was in an upstairs room while Mr Matovu a message which read ‘taking him to the shower’.

‘This was Matovu’s signal to come up and steal the man’s phone.

‘The men you met were at different stages in their life, some were comfortable with themselves and their sexuality, others not, some able to express their choices, others not.

‘All the men placed their trust in you all were vulnerable when they were with you, all were victims of your callous behaviour.

‘You calculated they would be too embarrassed to report what had happened to them.

‘All showed dignity and courage when giving evidence at trial.

‘On two occasions before August 2018 you administered GHB to render them unconscious.

‘Mr Matovu administered the G assisted by Mr Dunbar.

‘[One victim] invited you into his home within minutes you had rendered him unconscious by giving him a drink with GHB you made a thorough search of his house you were caught red-handed by his ex-partner but still succeeded in taking some of his property with you.

‘When he awoke in the bathroom the next day naked and unwell he discovered all the curtains were drawn. You had filled a suitcase and taken his phone and cards.

‘Another victim was very vulnerable. His health was fragile. With the help from his friends he was beginning to recover. Within a very short time of arriving at his home you rendered him unconscious.

‘Mr Matovu then made himself at home. He turned on the TV and made himself some food.

‘Mr Matovu described himself as sneaky.

‘Items which were important to this victim were stolen. He was unwell for several days after the incident.

‘When he went to the next victim’s home he followed a similar pattern.

‘Mr Matovu helped himself to whatever he felt like take him.

‘A watch which was sentimentally important to the victim as well as items of monetary value. He left the victim on the floor where he awoke hours later naked and unwell.

‘The next victim was met in his hotel room.

‘The hotel room was ransacked. The victim went to the police station where police were so concerned about his well being that they directed him to hospital.

‘On 17 August 2018 Mr Michels went out to central bars in Soho.

‘After an exchange of messages it was agreed Mr Michel’s would collect Matovu and they would go to Mr Michel’s house together.

‘After a short stop to buy some fizzy drinks and pastries they arrived at Mr Michel’s home at 22.20pm.

‘At some point Mr Matovu administered a lethal dose of g either by adding to drink or more likely by anal injection. A syringe was found on the floor.

‘Mr Matovu was well aware of the effects of G.

‘Mr Matovu intended to cause really serious harm by rendering him unconscious.

‘Mr Matovu had spent time in Mr Michel’s house packing the suitcase with items he had stolen. He had taken wine from the fridge. He listened to the radio as he did so.

‘Over the next couple of days he used Mr Michel’s card to buy groceries and food and transferred money to other accounts owned by him so he could withdraw cash.

‘By Saturday 18th she and her daughter were anxious about him. He had not replied to messages.

‘With characteristic cruelty he answered the phone saying ‘who is this’ then sent a text message which Diane immediately knew was not sent by Mr Michels.

‘He was lying on his back only his eyes were visible she saw when she pulled the duvet back there was a small grubby hand towel had been positioned like a bib over his chest.

‘There was dried blood and bile on it.

‘While he was looting the house and listening to the radio he knew Mr Michel’s was unconscious.

‘Mr Michels was a much-loved son.

‘He was respected and much liked by colleagues.

‘He was an accomplished actor and magician.

‘The ripples of his loss extend far and wide.

‘He has been described by those who love him as decent, hard-working, caring and genuine.

‘Diane Michel’s world has been changed forever.

‘Josh misses his father every single minute of every single day.

‘Sam has lost the first person he called for advice and shared good news.

‘His daughter has lost her best friend.

‘Their loss is immeasurable.’

Of the final victim the judge said: ‘Matters went beyond those to which he was willing to consent.

‘Just before 11.30, having tired of the victim, Dunbar injected a syringe into his anus.

‘His naked unconscious body was then burned with a blow torch which was used to brand his buttocks.

‘He was left by the bins on the street outside. He had been assaulted by penetration in circumstances that were sexual and his life had been endangered.

‘He was humiliated when his naked and unconscious body was allowed to lie by the bins outside to be found by a passerby.

The judge said Matovu was a dangerous offender and was ‘articulate and superficially charming.’

Matovu, of Guildford Street, Southwark, was sentenced to 31 years

Dunbar, of High Road, Ilford, was jailed for 18 years.

 

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