THE MUM of Anthony Walgate, the first of Grindr serial killer Stephen Port’s victims, spent years wondering if she could've done more to prevent the other three murders.
New BBC1 drama Four Lives shows how she pressured police to uncover the truth behind the death of her 23-year-old son.
Who is Anthony Walgate's mum Sarah Sak?
Sarah Sak, 55, lives in Hull and is the mother of 23-year old Anthony Walgate who was serial killer Stephen Port’s first known victim.
Fashion student Anthony was found dead outside Port’s flat in Barking, East London, in June 2014.
The new BBC drama Four lives shows how Sarah spent years haunted by the fear she could have stopped Port claiming more lives.
“And I finally realised I couldn’t have, because it didn’t matter what I did or what I said — they just wouldn’t investigate, and they just didn’t care. He literally got away with murder for so long.
“I had nightmares afterwards, wondering: Could I have done anything else?"
Sarah said she told police 12 times she believed Port had murdered her son before he was finally investigated and found guilty.
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Sheridan Smith was 'in bits crying every night' while filming Four Lives
Despite her pleas over her son’s death from an overdose of date-rape drug GHB, she was repeatedly told there was “nothing to investigate” .
Although Port was eventually given eight months’ jail for lying about the circumstances around Anthony’s death, he was still not suspected of killing him.
By then he had already gone on to kill Gabriel Kovari, 22, and Daniel Whitworth, 21. And after his release, the body of his fourth victim 25-year-old Jack Taylor was found.
An inquest by the Independent Office for Police Complaints (IOPC) concludedthat "fundamental failures" made by the police led to the deaths of the other three men.
Met Police chief Cressida Dick has apologised for the mistakes in the investigation.
Sarah said: “I believe she meant it. I feel lighter knowing changes are being made, even though nothing will bring my son back.
“It makes it easier to heal knowing it’s finally all out there – what the police missed – even though we knew it all along."
She has previously slammed the police for being "homophobic" after they failed to link the deaths of the four young men.
Her book, A Life Stolen: The Tragic True Story of My Son’s Murder, is due out February 17, 2022.
Who plays Sarah Sak in BBC drama Four Lives?
Actress Sheridan Smith, 40, plays the role of Sarah Sak in the new BBC drama.
She has revealed she was "in bits crying every night" while filming the harrowing drama.
Sarah said: “I think Sheridan got me down to a tee. I swear like a trooper and I must admit when I was telling the story I didn’t think they’d put all my swearing in.
“I actually said to the police, ‘I hope you’re better than the last lot at finding who killed my son, because they couldn’t find a hole in their a**e.’
“I didn’t mind it being in there, though, because that’s just how it was. Sheridan absolutely nailed me. She was brilliant."
Sarah and Sheridan have since got to know each other and even swapped numbers, and Sarah reveals she was helping the actress step into her shoes.
What happened to Anthonoy Walgate?
Stephen Port was found guilty of the murders of four men and Anthony Walgate was his first victim.
He was a student who had dreams of being a famous fashion designer.
Living away from his family home in Hull, he occasionally worked as an escort through a website called Sleepyboys to earn some extra money.
It was there he was contacted by Port, who offered him £800 for an overnight job.
Anthony was then found dead outside Port’s flat in Barking east London on June 19, 2014 after being given a fatal dose of GHB.
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