An ex-drug dealer has been jailed for at least 31 years for the murder of former James Bond actor Eric Michels.
Gerald Matovu, who had sold drugs to Grindr serial killer Stephen Port, plied Mr Michels with a fatal dose of GHB at his home in Surrey before stealing his bank card details and other belongings.
At the Old Bailey on Wednesday he was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 31 years for the “wicked and callous” slaying, which took place last August at the actor’s home in Chessington, southwest London.
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Mr Michels, 54, 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.
Jurors were not told about Matovu’s past connection with former chef Port, 44, from Barking, east London, who had also targeted victims through Grindr and killed them with GHB overdoses.
Judge Anne Molyneux QC, sentencing, told Matovu of Mr Michels’ death: ”You had already rendered five men unconscious using [GHB]. You were an experienced poisoner and were aware of the dangers of the drug.
“You knew as far back as 2015 that it could be used to take advantage of others. You knew it could be life-threatening. You are a highly dangerous predator.”
After a trial 26-year-old Matovu, of Southwark, south London, was convicted of six counts of administering a noxious substance, seven thefts, six counts of having articles for fraud, murder, assault by penetration, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possessing GBL drugs.
Dunbar, of Forest Gate, east London, was found guilty of three counts of administering a noxious substance, five thefts, six counts of having articles for fraud, two frauds, assault by penetration, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and dishonestly retaining wrongful credit.
The younger man was jailed for 18 years plus five on extended licence for his part in the “calculated” plot to drug and steal from men the pair encountered through Grindr.
Detective Inspector Mark Richards, of the Metropolitan Police’s specialist crime unit, said in a statement: “The pair had a well-rehearsed plan to take advantage of men they met through social networking sites and apps such as Grindr to steal their property.
“This was their overwhelming motive, rather than sexual assault. Matovu was described in evidence as a hustler, a liar and a thief.
“Their method in the majority of cases was to drug their victim with enough GBL to render them unconscious so they could then search their homes, selecting items of interest and photographing bank cards and personal documents for subsequent fraudulent use. They did this at their leisure, sometimes spending hours at an address.”
The attackers made little effort to cover their tracks, he added, helping police join the dots in the case.
Additional reporting by PA