Stephen Port’s drug dealer was today found guilty of murdering a gay man he met on Grindr in a case with chilling similarities to the serial killer’s own crimes.
Gerald Matovu, 25, gave Eric Michels, 54, a fatal dose of GHB before stealing his bank card, MacBook, iPhone and a suitcase full of alcohol at his home in Chessington, south-west
Matovu had supplied Port, a former escort and bus garage cook, with party drug mephedrone, known as Miaow Miaow, and GHB, to stupify his victims during dates after meeting using Grindr – a dating app for gay, bisexual or transsexual people.
Port would rape his victims while they were out cold – but in four cases the men died and he was later convicted of their murders, receiving a rare whole life sentence.
Today Matovu was convicted of Mr Michels’ murder in August 2018 – but jurors were not told about his connection to Port, 44, and the fact he sold him the drugs he later used to murder his victims.
Members of the Mr Michel’s family in the Old Bailey shouted out ‘yes – the rest of your life in prison’ at Matovu as the guilty verdict arrived – but the killer looked on impassive and said nothing.
Matovu and his lover, Brandon Dunbar, 23, who was also convicted of a series of sexual assaults and thefts today, targeted 12 men on Grindr who they drugged and then robbed.
Gerald Matovu, 23, left today, from London, supplied serial killer Stephen Port, right, with ‘date rape’ drugs he used in four murders, and was today found guilty of murder himself
Actor Eric Michels, who had appeared in the Bond film Skyfall, died at his home in Surrey after being drugged by Matovu
Matovu, 26, had hooked up with Eric Michels, 54, via Grindr in August last year.
He plied him with a fatal dose of GHB at his home in Bolton Road, Chessington, Surrey, then made off with his bank card details and other belongings.
His killer was caught after Mr Michels’ 14-year-old daughter texted her father shortly after his death, asking if he would like to go for a meal before she went away on holiday.
When he did not reply, she tried again and Matovu, impersonating victim, then replied using Mr Michels’ phone: ‘Hello hun im a little busy talk soon’, the court heard.
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 – she the called in the police, who found the body and later arrested the killler.
The Old Bailey has heard Mr Michels and his wife of 23 years had divorced after he realised he was gay.
Since coming out, the victim, who worked on the leadership team of a large energy company, had a number of long-term relationships with men that had failed.
He had become lonely and began going to Soho and using Grindr to find younger men to date.
Mr Michels was found dead at his home in Chessington (pictured) last summer and Gerald Matovu, from south-east London, was then arrested and charged with his murder
Mr Michels, who had an uncredited role in Skyfall, was one of 12 men targeted by Matovu and his lover Brandon Dunbar, 24, over a 19-month period, jurors heard.
Following an Old Bailey trial, Matovu was found guilty of businessman Mr Michels’ murder and a string of other offences.
Stephen Port was handed a whole life term for raping and murdering four young men and dumping their bodies near his home in Barking, east London, between 2014 and 2015.
Following Port’s 2016 trial, Matovu pleaded guilty to supplying mephedrone and GHB and offering to supply GHB, but denied knowing what Port planned to do with it.
In April 2017, Matovu was sentenced to 12 months community service, 150 hours of unpaid work and 40 days of drug rehabilitation.
At Matovu’s murder trial, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC told how the defendants took advantage of Grindr hook-ups to steal property and bank details.
On the evening of August 16 last year, divorced father-of-three Mr Michels made contact with Matovu on Grindr after a night out in Soho gay bars.
Mr Michels invited him to his place in south-west London for sex, the court heard.
While there, the defendant drugged Mr Michels and took photographs of his bank cards and driver’s licence.
Matovu made off with a MacBook, mobile phone, an initialled black case, US driving licence and various cards as well as a suitcase full of bottles of alcohol.
Mr Michels’ body was discovered by his concerned family the following day in bed under a duvet.
An empty 3ml syringe without a needle attached was found on the floor beside the bed.
DNA from the victim and defendant was identified on it, as well as traces of GHB, the court heard.
Matovu denied murder but accepted going home with him to have consensual sex.
He denied administering GHB to Mr Michels, claiming he took it of his own free will.
A jury deliberated for 26 hours to reach guilty verdicts on all the charges against both defendants.
Members of the victim’s family in court shouted out ‘yes – the rest of your life in prison’ as Matovu looked on impassive.
Matovu and Dunbar were convicted of a string of charges including administering a noxious substance, sexual assault and theft.