An American actor who was in James Bond film Skyfall was given an overdose of the chemsex drug GHB in a murder , a court heard today.
Eric Michels, 54, was found dead at his home in Chessington, in southwest London.
It is alleged Gerald Matovu, 25, and Brandon Dunbar, 23, spiked Mr Michels as part of a plot which involved dating gay men on apps such as Grindr to steal from them.
The Old Bailey was told the pair who were in a relationship targeted 12 men aged between 21 and 53 over 21 months, in which eight were knocked out with the Class C party drug.
They stole phones, computers, wallets, bank cards, watches, Oyster cards and clothes off their unconscious victims to fund their drug dealing, the jury was told.
And it's alleged they would take photos of their passports, travel documents and bank cards for later use in frauds.
Matovu, of Southwark, central London, denies murder and possessing the drug with intent to supply.
Dunbar who is not charged with murder, is accused of using Mr Michel's card to buy an Xbox on August 19 and a day later fraud by accepting a £300 transfer from the dead man’s account to his own.
He also denies a further fraud when he was accused of using dad-of-three Mr Michel’s card to buy GHB on September 11.
The pair are also accused of a string of charges including administering a poison, theft, fraud, drug dealing and physical and sexual assaults.
Jonathan Rees QC, prosecuting, said: "The prosecution says that the defendants, often working together, took advantage of hook ups, dates, that had been arranged with other gay men through apps, such as Grindr, to steal their property and take photographs of their bank cards and other identification documents for the purposes of fraud.
"In the course of their activities, a number of their targets were drugged to facilitate the dishonesty and one of those, a 54-year-old male, was killed by an overdose of a substance called Gamma Hydroxybutyrate – GHB."
Mr Michels, who had an uncredited role in Skyfall in 2012, was found dead on August 17 at his home.
"The prosecution evidence in this case focuses on 12 gay men, who met up with one or both of the defendants with a view to having sex, and ended up being the victims of their criminal enterprise.
"Nine of the 12 men met both of the defendants, whereas the remaining three only met up with Mr Matovu," Mr Rees QC added.
Mr Michels, who divorced his ex-wife after coming out as gay in 2010, was among several men drugged, the court was told.
Mr Rees QC continued: "Ten of the 12 men had property stolen from them during these encounters, and 11 of the 12 had photographs taken of their bank cards and other personal documents for later use in fraudulent activities – electronic images of these photographs were later found stored on a stolen phone and a laptop which were recovered by police from Mr Dunbar’s flat and had at some stage been in the control of Mr Matovu.
"Eight of the 12 men were drugged in order to render them unconscious to allow those dishonest activities to take place – five of those had their drinks ‘spiked’ and one had drugs injected into his anus without his consent.
"Of the remaining four, two of the men had items stolen or photographs taken of documents by Matovu while they were showering with Dunbar.
"One of the men took off his trousers to have sex, and while his trousers were off, photographs were taken of cards that were inside the wallet in his trousers and one had property stolen from him and images taken of his bank card when he went to make a cup of tea.
"Where there is evidence of the type of drug that rendered some of the men unconscious, that evidence points to the use of a drug called GHB.
"In recent times, GHB gained popularity as a recreational drug, particularly on the club scene and in the context of ‘chemsex’, where drugs are consumed to facilitate sexual activity."
The trial continues.
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