UK driver pleads guilty to Essex lorry deaths

UK driver pleads guilty to Essex lorry deaths


A British driver has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese migrants, who were found dead in a refrigerated lorry in the UK's Essex county last year.

On Wednesday, lorry driver Maurice Robinson, 25, from Craigavon in Northern Ireland, pleaded guilty to 39 counts of manslaughter at the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales in London, known as the Old Bailey.

At the same hearing, co-defendant Gheorghe Nica denied 39 counts of manslaughter, Both men appeared via video-link at the hearing.

The migrants, including two 15-year-olds, were found in the lorry on an industrial estate in Essex on October 23, 2019 and were mostly from poor and rural areas of Vietnam's north-central provinces.

The trailer arrived in Britain on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium, Essex police said earlier this year that the cause of death is a combination of hypoxia and hyperthermia.

The other defendants face a trial at the Old Bailey lasting up to eight weeks. It is scheduled to begin on October 5.