UK

Essex lorry deaths: Man due in court over 39 deaths

Mo Robinson Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Maurice Robinson has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter

A man is due to appear in court later on Monday charged over the deaths of 39 people found dead in a lorry trailer in Essex.

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

The bodies were found in a lorry in the early hours of Wednesday, on an industrial estate in Grays.

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

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

Essex Police also confirmed that a man arrested in Dublin by Irish police over an unconnected matter on Saturday “is a person of interest” in their investigation.

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

Three other people arrested in connection with the deaths have been released on bail, Essex Police said on Sunday.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The bodies were discovered in the early hours of Wednesday

Detectives are now working on the largest mass fatality victim identification process in the force’s history.

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.

Some of the victims are said to have paid thousands of pounds to guarantee their safe passage to the UK, from where they would be able to carry out work that would give them money to send home.

Detectives are also investigating claims surfaced the lorry could have been part of a convoy of three carrying around 100 people.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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