British serial killer Stephen Port has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of four young gay men whom he met online.

Some relatives of the victims cheered and clapped Friday when the sentence was announced in the Old Bailey courthouse.

Port was convicted of plying his victims with poisoned drinks, raping them when they were unconscious and disposing of their remains in a nearby graveyard.

The 41-year-old chef was also convicted of numerous sex offenses against seven other men who came forward with information about assaults.

The U.K.'s independent police watchdog is investigating why detectives did not initially link the deaths of the four men, whose bodies were found near Port's home in east London over a 15-month period.