Irish hauliers set for extradition to face charges over Essex lorry deaths

12 June 2020, 15:52 | Updated: 12 June 2020, 15:53

The bodies of 39 migrants were found in the back of a lorry in Essex in October
The bodies of 39 migrants were found in the back of a lorry in Essex in October. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Two Irish hauliers will be extradited to the UK to face charges relating to the Essex lorry deaths following two separate court rulings in Dublin.

The High Court in Dublin ruled on Friday morning that Ronan Hughes, 40, from Silverstream in Tyholland, Co Monaghan, Republic of Ireland, can be extradited.

The court heard Hughes wants to be surrendered to the UK "as soon as possible" to face charges in connection with the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants in England last October.

Later, the Court of Appeal dismissed a challenge by Eamonn Harrison, 23, from Mayobridge, Co Down, Northern Ireland, against his extradition, which was ordered earlier this year.

He challenged the extradition after claiming there were "manifest errors" in the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued by UK authorities, but his claim was dismissed.

The 39 Vietnamese nationals were found in a lorry container parked on an industrial estate in Grays, Essex, on October 23. Ten teenagers, including two 15-year-old boys, were among them.

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Both men have been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter and one of assisting unlawful immigration.

On April 8, Maurice Robinson, 25, of Craigavon in Northern Ireland, pleaded guilty to 39 counts of manslaughter at the Old Bailey in London.

He previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and acquiring criminal property at the same court on November 25.

He is due to be sentenced at a later date.

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