Essex lorry deaths: Haulier admits manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese nationals

Bodies found in lorry container. Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A haulier from Northern Ireland has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of migrants who were found dead in the trailer of a lorry in Essex.

Ronan Hughes, 40, of Co Armagh, admitted the charge on Friday at the Old Bailey.

Ronan Hughes, 40, of Co Armagh, admitted the charge on Friday at the Old Bailey.

He was one of several men accused of being part of a people-smuggling ring linked to the deaths of the 39 migrants last October.

The bodies of the Vietnamese nationals were discovered on an industrial estate in Grays, Essex, shortly after the lorry arrived in Purfleet on a ferry in the early hours of October 23 last year.

  • Chloe Keedy reports live from the Old Bailey:

Among the men, women and children were 10 teenagers, two of them 15-year-old boys.

An inquest heard their medical cause of death was asphyxia and hyperthermia – a lack of oxygen and overheating – in an enclosed space.