Two Co.Armagh men due in separate courts over Essex lorry deaths

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By Emily Pennink

A lorry driver accused over the deaths of 39 migrants will appear in court on Monday to enter pleas.

Maurice Robinson, 25, who was allegedly part of a global smuggling ring, is charged with the manslaughter of a group of men, women and children found dead in a refrigerated trailer.

The bodies of eight females and 31 males were discovered in the trailer attached to his Scania cab in an industrial park in Grays, Essex early on October 23.

The victims were later identified as coming from various provinces of Vietnam with the youngest being two boys aged 15.

Robinson, who is known as Mo, faces 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration between December 1 2018 and October 24 2019.

He is also charged with acquiring criminal property and one count of concealing criminal property.

The defendant, of Laurel Drive in Craigavon in Northern Ireland, is due to appear to appear via video link from custody before Mr Justice Edis at the Old Bailey.

Christopher Kennedy, 23, is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Monday accused of human trafficking offences.

He was arrested in the early hours of Friday morning on the M40.

Kennedy, from Darkley, Co Armagh, is charged with conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the travel of people with a view to exploitation and conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of UK immigration law.

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