Essex lorry driver to appear in court for manslaughter

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Essex, Oct 28 (IANS) The driver of a refrigerated lorry container in which 39 people were found dead last week in the UK’s Essex county, is slated to appear in court on Monday over manslaughter charges.

Maurice Robinson, 25, of Craigavon in Northern Ireland, is due to appear via videolink at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Monday, the BBC reported.

Robinson is charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.

Another driver who brought the container to Zeebrugge, Belgium, before it crossed the Channel was arrested at the port of Dublin on Saturday, according to the Belgian prosecutor’s office.

Essex Police said the man was “a person of interest” in their investigation.

“We are liaising with the Garda via telephone as this man is currently held outside the jurisdiction of the law of England and Wales,” a spokesman said.

Three other people arrested in connection with the deaths were released on bail on Sunday.

Initially, police said the victims were Chinese, but a number of Vietnamese families have described how they fear their loved ones are among the dead.

DNA tests are being carried out in Vietnam to help to identify the dead.

The trailer arrived in Purfleet on the River Thames from Zeebrugge at 12.30 a.m. on october 23.

The lorry and trailer left the port at Purfleet shortly after 1.05 a.m. the same day. Ambulance staff discovered the bodies in the container at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays at about 1.30 a.m.

–IANS

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