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Man pleads guilty to manslaughter over Thurrock lorry deaths

The scene where the bodies were discovered last October

A man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese people who were found dead in a lorry container in Thurrock last year.

Ronan Hughes, 40, of County Armagh in Northern Ireland, appeared at the Old Bailey this afternoon.

The bodies of the victims were discovered in a refrigerated unit on the Waterglade Industrial Park on Wednesday, 23 October 2019.

The trailer had arrived earlier at Purfleet docks on a ferry from Belgium. A short while later, the lorry’s driver Maurice Robinson stopped on the Waterglade Industrial Park and found the victims dead in the back.

Ronan Hughes has today pleaded guilty

Among the 39 people who died were 31 males and eight women. The youngest victims were two 15-year-old boys and there were eight other teenagers. The oldest victim was 44.

Mr Robinson, 25, from Craigavon in Northern Ireland, pleaded guilty to 39 counts of manslaughter at the Old Bailey in April.

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