Lorry Driver Charged With 39 Counts Of Manslaughter
Mo Robinson has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter after the lorry he was driving was discovered to have 39 dead bodies inside it.
The 25-year-old, from from County Armagh in Northern Ireland, will appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Monday on additional charges of conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration, and money laundering.
The driver was arrested shortly after the dead bodies were discovered in a refrigerated container trailer at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Essex in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday (October 23).
An investigation was launched after police were alerted to the discovery of the bodies of eight women and 31 men in the refrigerated container in Grays at approximately 1.40am on Wednesday.
The Essex Police said in a statement, as per Sky News:
The Crown Prosecution service has authorised Essex Police to charge a man in connection with the investigating the deaths of 39 people whose bodies were found in Grays on Wednesday.
Maurice Robinson, 25, of Laurel Drive, Craigavon, Northern Ireland was arrested shortly after the discovery was made at the Waterglade Retail Park…
Three other people have been arrested in connection with this investigation. A 38 year-old man and a 38 year-old woman from Warrington and a 48 year-old man from Northern Ireland, who were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and manslaughter remain in custody.
According to The Sun, Robinson is said to have opened the lorry trailer to get some paperwork and passed out when he saw the victims after they reportedly froze to death.
A friend of the lorry driver said he was ‘absolutely horrified’ when he made the discovery and called the ambulance service immediately. They, in turn, reportedly alerted the police.
The lorry driver was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder before being taken into police custody. Police in Belgium are hunting for the driver who delivered the trailer to Zeebrugge, the port it left before arriving in the UK.
News of Robinson’s arrest comes just hours after it was revealed one of the suspected victims, 26-year-old Pham Thi Tra My, paid £30,000 for a ‘business class ticket’ in the hope that she would get to the UK safely and quickly.
A human rights worker in Vietnam – who has spoken with Tra My’s family – said the service used by Tra My was called a ‘very important service’, adding: ‘With that she had to pay double or three times the price of the cheap ticket.’
The worker, who asked to remain anonymous, also noted that migrants are often told they can make vast amounts of money by moving to the UK, and that Tra My may have been convinced to purchase a ‘VIP ticket’ to get there for that purpose.
As per the BBC, each of the 39 victims will undergo a coroner’s examination to establish the cause of death, with Essex police then attempting to identify each individual.
However, they have warned this will be a ‘substantial operation’ and say they cannot estimate how long it will take.
Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims at this difficult time.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.