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Man ordered to pay £180,000 to victims families of lorry deaths in Grays

Ronan Hughes was jailed last January (credit: Essex Police)

A man convicted over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found in a lorry container in Grays, has been ordered to pay £182,000 in compensation to their families.

Thirty nine men, women and children suffocated as they travelled from Zeebrugge to Purfleet in October 2019.

Ronan Hughes, from Northern Ireland is among 10 people who’ve been convicted of their parts in the conspiracy – their prison sentences totalling more than 100 years.

The 43-year-old was given a 20 year prison sentence last January for 39 counts of manslaughter and one count of assisting unlawful immigration.

On Friday, 6 January, the 43-year-old was ordered to pay £182,078.90 in compensation to the families of those who died in the tragedy.

This means each family will receive £4,668.

The sum is made up of assets such as cash, machinery and a property owned by Hughes in Leitrim, County Monaghan.

Police say they’ve continued to work to secure justice for the victims and their families, whether that be pursing others who we believe to be involved or deep diving into the finances of those already convicted.

Detective Chief Inspector Louise Metcalfe, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, is leading the investigation.

She said: “There is no price that can be put on the life of a loved one and money seems so insignificant given what the victims’ families have been through.

“But what this does demonstrate is that we are continuing that same determination to secure justice for the victims and their families that we promised in October 2019.

“We won’t rest until every single person who we believe to be involved in this tragedy is punished accordingly and their criminal gains recouped and distributed to the families.”

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