A jury at the Old Bailey court in London found Gerald Matovu guilty of killing Eric Michels after ‘targeting’ him on Grindr.
The jury convicted Matovu, 26, of killing the 54-year-old businessman at his London home with an overdose of GHB.
Matovu previously admitted to selling GHB to serial killer Stephen Port. Port is currently serving a life sentence for murdering and raping four young men after meeting them on Grindr. He gave the men lethal doses of GHB, a psychoactive drug commonly referred to as a ‘date rape’ drug.
Despite his admission of guilt, Matovu served no prison time. Instead, he received a year’s community service, 150 hours of unpaid work and 40 days of drug rehab.
He now faces a sentence for the murder of Michels.
A Grindr meet-up gone tragically wrong
Michels was a businessman and occasional actor, appearing in bit parts in films such as Skyfall. Police found his body at his Chessington home on 18 August 2018.
Per lawyers’ timeline of events, Michels met Matovu in London after connecting on Grindr. The pair then went to Michels’ home, where his 14-year-old daughter later found him after receiving a suspicious text reply from him.
Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said traces of GHB were found in Michels. He also alleged Matovu took photos of Michels’ personal information, including credit cards and passwords, the following morning after drugging him.
Fraud was the ultimate goal
Rees also said Matovu worked with another defendant, Brandon Dunbar, 23, targeting men on dating apps. The defendants received 26 charges total relating to 12 male victims.
They targeted these men alleged to steal property, money, and identities.
Both Matovu and Dunbar deny all charges against them. Matovu said Michels took the drug of his own free wil.
When the guilty verdict was handed down, Michels’ family, who was present in the courtroom, shouted out: ‘yes – rest of your life in prison!’
Michels left behind three children, whom he had with his ex-wife. After coming out as gay in 2010, the pair divorced. One of his sons described Michels as ‘a person who just loved life’.
Matovu will be sentenced on 5 September.