Driver Charged Over Deaths Of 39 People In Lorry In Essex
Lorry driver Maurice Robinson has been charged with manslaughter after 39 Chinese nationals were found dead in the back of a lorry in Essex.
Essex Police issued a statement which reads: "The Crown Prosecution service has authorised Essex Police to charge a man in connection with the investigating the deaths of 39 people whose bodies were found in Grays on Wednesday.
"Maurice Robinson, 25, of Laurel Drive, Craigavon, Northern Ireland was arrested shortly after the discovery was made at the Waterglade Retail Park. He is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Monday 28 October charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.
"Three other people have been arrested in connection with this investigation. A 38 year-old man and a 38 year-old woman from Warrington and a 48 year-old man from Northern Ireland, who were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and manslaughter remain in custody."
The victims, who included 38 adults and one teenager, were discovered early on Wednesday morning - 23 October - in the back of a wagon on an industrial estate in Essex.
Yesterday, Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said: "This is a fast-moving investigation involving significant police resources dedicated to finding out the truth about what happened to the 39 people found dead in the lorry on Wednesday."
She continued: "The scene at the Waterglade Industrial Estate in Eastern Avenue has now been closed. I would like to reiterate my thanks to every person and business who has been impacted by the work we have been carrying out there since Wednesday morning.
"Finally I would like to speak directly to anyone who thinks their loved ones may have been in the trailer. I know you may be worried about speaking to the police. I would like to reassure you that we just want to be able to give the victims' families answers about what has happened.
"I can't begin to comprehend what some of you must be going through right now. You have my assurance that Essex Police will be working tirelessly to understand the whole picture to this absolute tragedy.
"I would also like to make an appeal to anyone living illegally in this country, who could help our investigation. Please come forward and speak to us without fear. I can assure you that your information will be received in strictest confidence and no criminal action will be taken against you.
"If you do not feel able to speak to police directly, please contact Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111."
Featured Image Credit: PA