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Media captionCCTV images recorded Eric Michels and Gerald Matovu shopping together at Sainsbury’s

A serial thief who targeted victims through gay dating apps has been found guilty of murdering a businessman with a GHB drug overdose.

An Old Bailey jury convicted Gerald Matovu, 26, of killing Eric Michels, 54, who was found dead at his south-west London home on 18 August.

The court heard the pair met in central London through the Grindr app before taking a cab back to Mr Michel’s house.

Matovu had previously admitted selling GHB to serial killer Stephen Port.

Port was given a whole-life term for the murders of four young men he poisoned with lethal doses of the substance and raped after meeting them on Grindr.

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Met Police

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Gerald Matovu was found guilty of a string of offences, including murder, following a trial

Matovu was also found guilty of six counts of administering a noxious substance so as to endanger life and one of possession of GBL with intent to supply.

His co-defendant Brandon Dunbar, from Forest Gate, east London, was convicted of two counts of administering a noxious substance so as to endanger life, six counts of possessing articles for use in fraud, four of theft, and one of fraud.

The men were also both found guilty of assault by penetration, assault and theft in relation to one victim.

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Eric Michels was found dead at his home in Chessington in August 2018

During the trial, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said the charges related to 12 gay men who met one or both of the defendants for the purposes of sex, but ended up as victims.

The court heard Mr Michels, an executive at energy company SSE, met Matovu in the early hours of 17 August.

The pair went to back to the businessman’s home in Chessington, where he was given a fatal dose of GHB, a drug used in so-called chemsex but also linked to instances of date-rape.

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Met Police

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Brandon Dunbar admitted using Mr Michels’ card and taking £300 from his account

While his victim was incapacitated, Matovu took the opportunity to take photos of Mr Michels’ bank cards, driving licence and various passwords.

That evening Mr Michels’ 14-year-old daughter, one of his three children, sent him a text but received no response, the court heard.

After a follow-up message the next day, she received the “totally uncharacteristic” response of: “Hello hun im a little busy talk soon”.

That led her to calling her father’s phone, but after an unknown male answered and hung up when she said who was calling, she and her mother went to Mr Michels’ home and found him motionless in bed.

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Media captionEric Michels’ sons said their father was “a person who just loved life”

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