TOP TRENDING

Essex truck deaths: driver made £ 100,000 smuggling people


The trafficker Maurice & # 39; Mo & # 39; Robinson, 26, (pictured), who was instructed by his boss to ventilate 39 Vietnamese migrants trapped in a truck trailer, ruthlessly replied, "I can't, they are madly dead & # 39;

A heartless human trafficker, whom his boss ordered to ventilate 39 Vietnamese migrants trapped in a truck trailer, ruthlessly replied, "I can't, they're damned dead."

The 26 year old driver Maurice & # 39; Mo & # 39; Robinson was part of a multi-million dollar people smuggling ring that brought desperate migrants to Britain on multiple occasions with the help of death trap trucks, bringing in £ 100,000.

Their ruthless operation, however, collapsed in October 2019 when Robinson opened the back of his refrigerated trailer at an industrial park in Grays, Essex, to be exposed to a burst of steam and 39 bodies.

Robinson called Ronan Hughes, 40 – the gang's ringleader – when he found the bodies of 28 men, eight women and three children who were suffocated as internal temperatures rose to 38.5 ° C.

Kingpin Hughes told him to open the doors and give them air.

Robinson fired back: "I can't, they're dead."

Robinson admitted 39 manslaughter cases and is now – along with seven other smugglers – convicted at the Old Bailey.

The court heard for the first time today that Robinson told police he stopped only to check their comfort near Purfleet Harbor.

Robinson picked up the trailer in Purfleet, Essex, after it had been transported from Zeebrugge, Belgium.

In reality, a Snapchat message that Kingpin Hughes sent to him, "Give them a breath, but don't let them out," prompted him to make the terrible discovery.

He waited more than 20 minutes to make the 999 call after opening the doors to see that the half-naked victims had suffocated in "unbearable" temperatures.

Details of the cheeky lies Robinson told police officers during his interview were also read to the court.

Police at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays after the 39 bodies of Vietnamese migrants were found in the truck in October 2019

Police at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays after the 39 bodies of Vietnamese migrants were found in the truck in October 2019

After initially denying knowledge of the migrants, he eventually got clean, but claimed he stopped on Eastern Avenue because, "I wanted to make sure these people were comfortable."

Robinson told police that there was £ 25,000 in cash in the attic of his County Armagh home – but no such amount was found by officers when the property was searched.

At that point, he had hidden his loot elsewhere and had spent part of his fortune on renovating his girlfriend's beauty salon.

Robinson appeared in the dock today, cleanly shaven and in a black suit, alongside his co-conspirators – including Hughes.

Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said: "Ronan Hughes' message to Maurice Robinson showed an awareness of the risk and the need for them to be given air once the trailer was under Robinson's control."

He added: “In this regard, it is claimed that Robinson's answers in the interview are significant. His reasoning that he does not know how many people are on the trailer is not accepted.

In his fifth interview, Robinson admitted that he knew he was smuggling migrants. However, he said he stopped on Eastern Avenue because, "I wanted to make sure people were comfortable there."

When he delivered the news to Hughes in the moments after the doors were opened on Eastern Avenue, the boss said to him, "Open the doors, give them air."

Robinson fired back: "I can't, they're dead."

After calling Romanian fixer Gheorghe Nica, 43, he finally called an ambulance before throwing his phone with the dirty burner into a ditch by the roadside and dropping the SIM card into a drain.

Mr. Polnay said, “He called Hughes. Hughes said to him: "Open the doors, give them air." He said, "I can't, you are dead."

Robinson then called the Eastern European man who had previously taken him to Collingwood Farm. He said "call an ambulance".

& # 39; Hughes told him to "get rid of the phone". Robinson tossed the SIM card down the drain and dumped the phone on the curb. «

Mr. Polnay added: “He said in the interview that he received £ 25,000 in cash. He said he believed the rate he was paid at was around £ 1,500 per person.

& # 39; Most of the money like still in his attic at home … No such money was actually found.

At no point did Robinson tell police the real reason he quit – the Snapchat message he received from Ronan Hughes.

"The prosecution contends that it is very important that this was the only matter that he deliberately kept silent and lied to."

Mr Justice Sweeney said today that the sentencing – originally listed for three days – could take longer as defense teams deny the matter.

The court heard that Robinson and Hughes had denied how many migrants had been pushed into the back of the truck on the fatal journey.

A "Newton hearing," where the judge resolves important issues without a jury, can be held to identify key issues in the sentencing, the judge said.

Mr. Polnay said, "Prosecutors say the conspirators were aware of the number of people being transported in the truck and that it was risky."

DCI Daniel Stoten, the officer who led the Essex police investigation into the deaths, previously said the 40-year-old Hughes made up to £ 1 million a month from his people smuggling operation.

He spent some of it on him and his family on vast expanses of Irish land – while the rest remains hidden.

"Professional criminal" Hughes was "brought up on crime" and therefore "learned to hide his money," said DCI Stoten – but Robinson was "a truck driver who just got into crime" so he has a "lot financially bigger footprint ".

A photo with pole tracks in the truck trailer after migrants tried to drill air holes shortly before suffocating

A photo with pole tracks in the truck trailer after migrants tried to drill air holes shortly before suffocating

CCTV shows the police arriving at the point where Robinson found the bodies on the back of his truck (top right).

CCTV shows the police arriving at the point where Robinson found the bodies on the back of his truck (top right).

The group of migrants came from five provinces in the central coastal area of ​​Vietnam and two provinces near Hanoi

The group of migrants came from five provinces in the central coastal area of ​​Vietnam and two provinces near Hanoi

DCI Stoten said it was the smugglers' "total greed" and "complacency" that resulted in their death as their mercenary command to do two loads in one was "doomed".

The officer added: & # 39; (Robinson) had no money because he was not raised and did not learn his trade.

& # 39; We can see roughly £ 100,000 going through his accounts.

“They all had big eyes open to what they were doing and they all made a lot of money and you can see that in Robinson's house and drawing room. Huge amount of money.

"His partner has a salon that has changed and upgraded significantly, and he lives in a beautiful house."

The multi-million dollar run from Zeebrugge to Purfleet in October 2019 was so well established that Hughes was able to bill his human cargo £ 14,000 per capita.

Hughes packed as many migrants as he dared into each poorly ventilated container and suffocated 28 men, eight women and three children when the internal temperature rose to 38.5 ° C in October 2019.

The video played in court showed the moment officers were on the scene in Essex and (inserted) body cam footage shows an officer looking for signs of life in the truck. Driver Maurice Robinson called 999 after discovering the bodies in his truck

The video played in court showed the moment officers were on the scene in Essex and (inserted) body cam footage shows an officer looking for signs of life in the truck. Driver Maurice Robinson called 999 after discovering the bodies in his truck

Robinson's trailer and tractor unit after it was used as evidence in the homicide investigation

Robinson's trailer and tractor unit after it was used as evidence in the homicide investigation

Some tried using a pole to force their way outside while others wrote final heartbreaking text messages to relatives and partners while people around them sobbed in the dark.

28-year-old Nguyen Tho Tuan said to his wife, children and mother, “It is Tuan. I'm sorry. I can't take care of you

& # 39; I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I can not breathe. I want to go back to my family. Have a good life. & # 39;

A graphic used by the Essex Police showing the location of the 39 bodies found in a container truck in Grays, Essex

A graphic used by the Essex Police showing the location of the 39 bodies found in a container truck in Grays, Essex

At 1:07 a.m., Robinson picked up the trailer about 12 hours after it was sealed. He was instructed by Hughes on Snapchat to "give them a quick breath, not let them out".

At 1:07 a.m., Robinson picked up the trailer about 12 hours after it was sealed. He was instructed by Hughes on Snapchat to "give them a quick breath, not let them out".

Shortly before 7 p.m., another victim, Nguyen Dinh Luong, 20, tried desperately to call the Vietnamese ambulance service. He dialed 133, but the phone in the trailer went off.

Another male victim recorded a message at 8:02 pm, apologizing to his parents and telling them, “I cannot breathe. I'm so sorry. I have to go now and after a long pause add: it's all my fault.

Moments later another voice was heard saying, "He's dead."

A voice can be heard in the background trying to calm her compatriots and saying: "Come on, open up and open up."

Moments later, another victim said, "He's dead."

Who was convicted in the death of a truck in Essex?

Eamonn Harrison, 23

  • Guilty of 39 homicides
  • Guilty of the conspiracy in support of illegal immigration

Gheorghe Nica, 43

  • Guilty of 39 homicides
  • Admits conspiracy to aid illegal immigration

Valentin Calota, 37

  • Guilty of the conspiracy in support of illegal immigration

Christopher Kennedy, 24

  • Guilty of the conspiracy in support of illegal immigration

Maurice Robinson, 26

  • Admits 39 cases of manslaughter
  • Admits conspiracy to aid illegal immigration

R.Onan Hughes, 41

  • Admits 39 cases of manslaughter
  • Admits conspiracy to aid illegal immigration

The original tape, which captures the bravery of the migrants when they realized they were dying, was played before prosecutor Jonathan Polnay translated the victims' messages.

When translating the first recording, Mr. Polnay said: "I'm so sorry" – this is what he is talking to his wife and child – "I'm sorry" – this is his mother – "I'm sorry" – and that is addressed to his whole family. & # 39; I can't breathe. I want to go back to my family. Have a good life & # 39;. & # 39;

Regarding the second message, Mr. Polnay said: “He says I can't breathe, he says his name, his parents are sorry, I have to go. It's all my fault.

"And a voice in the background says," Come on, open up and open up. "

In the background of the audio you can hear hectic heavy breathing and crying as the two victims recorded their farewells from their loved ones.

The jury saw horrific footage of steam pouring out of the container when Robinson opened the doors at 1:13 a.m. on October 23, 2019, after stopping on Eastern Avenue, Grays.

Passenger Eamonn Harrison, who parked the trailer in Zeebrugge before sailing to the UK, and Romanian fixer Gheorghe Nica, 43, were convicted of 39 manslaughter.

Truck drivers Christopher Kennedy, 24, and Valentin Calota, 38, were found guilty by an Old Bailey jury of supporting illegal immigration.

Robinson and Hughes previously admitted charges of manslaughter and smuggling.

The truck drivers Christopher Kennedy (24) and Valentin Calota (38) were also convicted of their involvement in the international smuggling ring.

Gazmir Nuzi, 42, and Alexandru Hanga, 28, admitted a conspiracy to support illegal immigration last year.

Their involvement was described as one-off today – before the October 22 tragedy.

Outlining the respective roles of the Gofers, Mr. Polnay said, “Hanga was involved in the conspiracy once on October 11, 2019, after being recruited by Nica.

He drove migrants from Collingwood Farm to the safe house in south east London.

Hanga told police Nica had asked him to pick up a few friends of Grays and bring them to London.

People got off a truck and hurried to his vehicle. He described himself as "threatened".

& # 39; Nuzi is to be convicted of the substantial offense.

On October 11, 2019, he visited Collingwood Farm and picked up his nephew and another man, both Albanians, who had entered the UK illegally on the T103 trailer the previous night.

"When he was interviewed, he answered" no comment "to all questions he was asked."

DCI Stoten said the traffickers viewed the victims as "goods" rather than "people".

The desperate foreigners had paid them around £ 12,000 each for a VIP route to the UK – one of two options they were offered – that promised success but no security.

Even migrants who survived previous trips with around 15 to 20 compatriots suffered life-threatening conditions.

They usually got short of breath and "sick" towards the end of their trip when carbon dioxide reached toxic levels in a confined space, the police chief said.

But the deadly journey in which the smugglers pushed 39 people into the trailer to do two loads in one was "doomed," DCI Stoten said.

He said, "The VIP option is more about getting it through successfully."

“When the truck driver knows he's less likely to stop, check the load and dump it.

“It was more important than her safety. Obviously, security was not a particular concern of these traffickers.

“We saw this because they were willing to take absolutely unacceptable risks by putting 39 people in one container.

“They knew that 15 to 20 people per container was a huge risk, and we know that 15 to 20 people would be short of breath at the end of the trip and begin to suffer from the negative effects.

"Placing 39 people there is just an unacceptable risk that is doomed to failure. But because they were motivated by money, they were willing to take the risk, and these poor Vietnamese victims were just a commodity."

The migrants were picked up by one of the truck drivers at a rendezvous in France and dropped off in the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

The young couple is posing here at the airport together on the day of their departure from Vietnam. You are standing with two carts filled with luggage; obviously unaware that they will be forced to leave it behind at some point in their deadly journey

The young couple is posing here at the airport together on the day of their departure from Vietnam. You are standing with two carts filled with luggage; obviously unaware that they will be forced to leave it behind at some point in their deadly journey

From there they sailed across the English Channel to Purfleet, where Robinson picked them up and drove to a remote farm in Essex.

The jury heard that Collingwood Farm, near Orsett, was a hotbed of "shady" activity that resident Marie Andrews had reported to Essex police since the summer of 2019.

Victim Pham Thi Tram My, 26, pictured wanted to work in the UK beauty industry

Victim Pham Thi Tram My, 26, pictured wanted to work in the UK beauty industry

Ms. Andrews told the judicial police that she had not listened as she repeatedly voiced her concern about her.

On October 11th, she called the police three times on the same day when she saw a group of migrants jump from a truck into a fleet of Mercedes cars.

The cars were organized by the British-Romanian ringleader Gheorghe Nica, who transported the foreigners to their final destination in London.

The officers visited the scene and searched the premises, but did not check the video surveillance from the farm or the surrounding area as the smugglers drove away undetected.

DCI Stoten said the authorities were "snow blind" to the international gang.

When asked if the opportunity had been missed to catch the smugglers, he replied, “Yes.

“I think we feel that because so many people tried to sneak on trucks, it has almost become an accepted position, while there are actually a number of criminal groups out there, so people in that regard a bit were snow blind.

Tran Hai Loc and Nguyen Thi Van were still huddled together when they were discovered among the 39 dead Vietnamese migrants on October 23, 2019

Tran Hai Loc and Nguyen Thi Van were still huddled together when they were discovered among the 39 dead Vietnamese migrants on October 23, 2019

The couple had left their seven-year-old son and five-year-old daughter in the care of their grandparents to start a new life for the family in the UK

The couple had left their seven-year-old son and five-year-old daughter in the care of their grandparents to start a new life for the family in the UK

"Now truck drivers are immediately treated as suspects at the national level (and that has changed since the Essex incident)," said DCI Stoten.

DCI Stoten described the smugglers' "total greed" as follows: "Ronan Hughes and Gheorghe Nica were the leaders of the operation and the rest of them were more logistical. They got the lion's share of the money paid.

'Therefore, when there was possibly a missed opportunity to get people to the UK by doubling 39 people's relief because they don't want to lose the money. Total greed.

“With the likes of Nica and Hughes, they are professional criminals and were raised on crime. They learned to hide their money.

“We know the Hughes family live on a large property that has been paid for in full. The whole family lives in a fairly large area, but other than that, the money has been hidden and it's hidden.

The couple, both 35, were found with their hands folded after suffocating in their airtight container when the temperature rose to 38.5 ° C.

The couple, both 35, were found with their hands folded after suffocating in their airtight container when the temperature rose to 38.5 ° C.

Essex truck tragedy timeline

Here is a timeline of events surrounding the deaths of 39 Vietnamese men, women and children on the back of a truck in Essex.

  • May 9, 2018: Eamonn Harrison is stopped in Coquelles, France and drives a truck into the Channel Tunnel. It has been found that 18 Vietnamese nationals are hidden in the background on waffle boxes. He receives a fine that is never paid.
  • 1st May 2019: Harrison is caught drinking in Drantum after he lost control and his truck fell over. He is convicted and sentenced to pay 855 euros.
  • October 9, 2019: At 9:04 p.m. Harrison's GPS tracker places his truck in La Chappelle d & # 39; Armentieres in northern France. He lies down in Bailleul for the night.
  • October 10th: Harrison makes a series of stops in Nieppe, La Chapelle d & # 39; Armentieres and Lissewege before delivering a human cargo to Zeebrugge in Belgium for transport to Purfleet in Essex.
  • October 11th: At 7 a.m., truck driver Christopher Kennedy picks up the trailer with the migrants in Purfleet and takes it to a drop-off point near the Orsett Golf Club.
  • At 8:18 am, Gheorghe Nica, Alexandru Hanga, Marius Draghici and Gazmir Nuzi are captured by CCTV, who allegedly arrive in the convoy.
  • At 8:22 am, Marie Andrews and Stewart Cox, who live on Collingwood Farm in Orsett, see a red truck with a white trailer and four black Mercedes vehicles. As they watched, 15 to 20 people jumped out of the truck and ran to the Mercedes.
  • October 14th: At 7:25 AM, Kennedy drives the same truck but a different trailer from Dover to Calais.
  • At 11.50 p.m. Kennedy will be stopped in Coquelles on the way to Folkestone via the Eurotunnel. Twenty Vietnamese nationals are discovered in his trailer and taken away by border authorities, but Kennedy is allowed to continue his journey. It later emerges that two of the migrants are among the victims.
  • October 17th: Harrison makes a second successful run and drops a container load of migrants in Zeebrugge with a package of cookies.
  • October 18: At 7:24 am, Kennedy picks up the trailer and takes it to the same pickup point in Orsett. Valentin Calota is one of the drivers Nica brought in to pick up the newcomers and drive them through the Dartford Junction in south east London.
  • In the afternoon, Barbara Richmond-Clarke, warehouse manager at Lenham Storage in Kent, declines the delivery of crushed and dirty cookie jars.
  • In the evening, haulier Ronan Hughes, truck driver Maurice Robinson, Draghici and Nica, who are now carrying a heavy bag full of cash, meet at the Ibis Hotel in Thurrock.
  • At 9:53 p.m. Harrison was found drunk in Bruges, Belgium and stopped by police.
  • October 19th: At 9.09am, police discover Harrison's truck has been parked illegally and ask him to move.
  • October 22nd: From 5:47 a.m., five victims' phones will be used in Paris.
  • Around 9 a.m., others were discovered on the Belgian border between Dunkerque and Lille.
  • Starting at 9.21am, CCTV is showing three taxis arriving in Bierne, northern France, followed by Harrison's trucks.
  • Harrison's truck arrives at Zeebrugge port at 1:41 p.m.
  • At 2:52 p.m., the trailer with 39 people between the ages of 15 and 44 is loaded onto the MV Clementine, which sails late at 3:36 p.m.
  • At 7:37 pm, the young father Nguyen Tho Tuan recorded a message for his family: “It's Tuan. I'm sorry. I can't take care of you I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I can not breathe. I want to go back to my family. Have a good life. & # 39;
  • Between 9.42 p.m. and 10:42 p.m., the temperature in the trailer reached a maximum of 38.5 degrees Celsius.
  • It is estimated that the atmosphere reached toxic levels between 10 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. and all 39 victims were killed.
  • 23rd October: At 12:18 p.m. the Clementine berths in Purfleet.
  • At 1:07 a.m., Robinson picks up the trailer about 12 hours after it has been sealed. He is instructed by Hughes on Snapchat to "give them a quick breath, not let them out".
  • Robinson drives out of Purfleet, stops and opens the rear doors. He stands for 90 seconds before getting back into the cabin.
  • From 1:15 a.m., Robinson drives around for seven minutes before returning to the same location on Eastern Avenue. He opens the back door again, calls Hughes for a minute and 42 seconds, and takes a minute-long call from Nica.
  • Within 15 minutes there is a flurry of phone calls between Hughes, Robinson, Kennedy and Nica leaving the Collingwood Farm area.
  • At 1:36 a.m. Robinson phoned 999 and asked for an ambulance.
  • At 1:50 am, the police arrived on site and found that Robinson looked "calm" at the trailer.
  • Later that morning, Kennedy texted a friend: "Must have been two and run out of breath."
  • Nica flies from Luton to Romania in the evening.
  • October 24th: Draghici flies to Bucharest in Romania and remains at large.
  • November 22: Kennedy arrested after the truck he drives on the M40 in Oxfordshire is stopped.
  • February 7, 2020: After her imprisonment in Frankfurt, Nica is extradited to Great Britain under a European arrest warrant.
  • the 14th of March: Calota arrested on arrival at Birmingham Airport from Romania.
  • April 8th: Robinson pleads guilty of 39 manslaughter at the Old Bailey.
  • 23rd June: Hughes is extradited to Great Britain from the Republic of Ireland and pleads guilty of manslaughter in August.
  • 22nd of July: Harrison is extradited to the UK after being arrested on October 26, 2019 under the European Arrest Warrant in the port of Dublin, Ireland.
  • 5th October: Nica and Harrison are tried at the Old Bailey for manslaughter. Harrison, Calota and Kennedy are charged with participating in a major people-smuggling conspiracy admitted by Nica, Robinson, Hughes and two others.
  • 21st December: You are convicted of manslaughter

"But because of that, things have changed massively."

The official said the video surveillance was not checked after Ms. Andrews reported the sighting of migrants, adding, “But I know we were very quick to respond. Officers visited the farm.

"The license plates on Kennedy's truck don't activate ANPR. I think they were adjusted so they didn't activate ANPR, so we were immediately on our rear feet."

DCI Stoten said the officials' protocol previously was to arrest the migrants and treat the truck drivers as "victims" and wave them over.

Aber die Einstellungen haben sich im Zuge der Tragödie geändert, so dass "die Menschen im Hintergrund" als Zeugen angesehen werden, während die Fahrer jetzt sofort als Verdächtige behandelt werden, sagte er.

Wenn in diesem Fall ein Lastwagen mit Migranten im Hintergrund angehalten wurde, werden die Migranten festgenommen und der Lastwagenfahrer wird fast als Opfer behandelt.

„Während er mit Leuten wie Robinson ein Lastwagenfahrer war, der gerade in die Kriminalität geriet, können wir für ihn einen viel größeren finanziellen Fußabdruck sehen.

„Er hat kein Geld gehabt, weil er nicht erzogen wurde und sein Handwerk nicht gelernt hat.

'Wir können sehen, dass ungefähr 100.000 Pfund durch seine Konten gehen.

»Sie hatten alle große Augen offen für das, woran sie beteiligt waren, und sie alle haben eine Menge Geld damit verdient, und das können Sie an Robinsons Haus und seinem Salon sehen. Riesiger Geldbetrag.

„Sein Partner hat einen Salon, der sich erheblich verändert und aufgewertet hat, und er lebt in einem schönen Haus.

Die Familiengeschichte von 'Hughes' ist in der Transportbranche angesiedelt. Sein Vater leitet eine Spedition und er und sein Bruder betreiben separate Speditionen.

„Zwischen 60 und 80 Menschen, die wir kennen, wurden im Oktober nach Großbritannien gebracht. Du redest nicht weit weg von 1 Million Pfund (hergestellt von Hughes) nur für Oktober. & # 39;

Ronan Hughes wurde vor einem Jahrzehnt von französischen Grenzbeamten gestoppt, als er versuchte, den Kanal mit illegalen Waren zu überqueren.

Sein Menschenschmuggelgeschäft dürfte "viele, viele Jahre" vor dem in der offiziellen Anklageschrift angegebenen Datum 2018 betrieben worden sein, sagte DCI Stoten.

„Es ist schwer zu sagen, aber wir haben diese Angeklagten am Rande anderer Ermittlungen gesehen.

„Ich denke, das ist seit vielen, vielen Jahren so. Sie sind sicherlich sehr raffiniert, aber das hat tatsächlich zu viel Selbstzufriedenheit geführt, und Selbstzufriedenheit ist das, was dazu geführt hat.

„Es ist fast so, als hätten sie gedacht, wir sind immer erfolgreich. Warum also nicht?

„Ich weiß nicht, ob sie die Tatsache aus den Augen verloren haben, dass sie Menschen waren, oder ob es ihnen von Anfang an egal war – diese Menschen waren eine Ware für sie.

„Sie und ihre LKW-Fahrer wurden mehrmals angehalten.

'Ronan Hughes wurde für andere Waren in Großbritannien gestoppt.

'Das geht ein Jahrzehnt zurück. Er war in den letzten zehn Jahren in sehr ähnliche Verbrechen verwickelt. & # 39;

DCI Stoten bezeichnete die Mörder als „gnadenlos“ und sagte: „Trotz der Überzeugungen ist dies kein Grund zum Feiern.

„Der Ausgangspunkt dafür war eine völlige Tragödie, die bei allen Beteiligten bleiben wird, und ich denke, wir freuen uns nur, den Familien ein Gefühl der Gerechtigkeit zu vermitteln, auch wenn sie niemals darüber hinwegkommen werden.

'Keiner von ihnen hat Reue gezeigt.

'Die frühen Schuldbekenntnisse waren nur wegen der Menge an Beweisen gegen sie – kein anderer Grund.

"Gnadenlos ist das Wort, das ich verwenden würde."

Van-Fahrer Calota war heute Morgen der erste, der im Dock erschien und nur sprach, um seinen Namen zu bestätigen, als sein Anwaltsteam behauptete, er sei von Nica "irregeführt" worden.

Abdul Iqbal QC, der sich verteidigte, sagte, Calota habe im Vergleich zu den Kingpins eine "ungekünstelte" Rolle gespielt.

Herr Iqbal sagte, der 38-Jährige habe keine früheren Verurteilungen und sei "kurzfristig" angeworben worden, um am 18. Oktober – vor der tödlichen Reise am 23. Oktober – eine Ladung Nicht-EU-Bürger von Essex nach Dulwich im Süden Londons zu fahren.

Die Schmuggler transportierten die Migranten normalerweise von der englischen Grenze zu einer Abgabe auf einer abgelegenen Farm in Essex, wo Nica und seine Fahrerflotte sie in die Hauptstadt brachten.

"(Calota) hat 2011 und 2015 zwei strafrechtliche Verwarnungen, als er in einem Supermarkt unehrlich handelte, als er der Jury sagte, seine Arbeit sei sporadisch und er habe versucht, etwas Geld zu verdienen, um zu überleben", sagte der Rechtsanwalt.

'Calota wurde von Nica relativ kurzfristig am 17. Oktober eingestellt, als sie einen Fahrer für den 18. Oktober brauchten.

Zumindest in dieser Phase der Rekrutierung führte Nica Calota über das Auto, das er transportieren würde, in die Irre.

„Eine Sache, die Nica akzeptiert hat, ist, dass er Calota zumindest anfangs in die Irre geführt hat.

'Dies war eine einzelne Straftat.

"Die Vereinbarung über die Versicherung in Bezug auf den weißen Van, den er auf Nicas Anweisung fuhr, wurde ihm von Nica gegeben."

During the trial Calota claimed he had been unable to hear the load of people in the back because wearing earphones and listening to the radio on the hour-long trip.

The jury rejected the account and convicted him of his involvement in the conspiracy last month.

Harrison, from Mayobridge, County Down, was convicted of 39 counts of manslaughter and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.

Nica, of Mimosa Close, Langdon Hills, Basildon, Essex, was convicted of 39 counts of manslaughter. He had admitted one of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration.

Kennedy, of Corkley Road, Keady, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and Calota, of Cossington Road, Birmingham, were convicted of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration between 1 May 2018 and 24 October 2019.

Hughes, from Leitrim, Silverstream, Tyholland, Co Monaghan, admitted manslaughter in respect of the 39 deaths and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.

Robinson, from Craigavon, County Armagh, admitted manslaughter and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and acquiring criminal property.

The sentencing continues.

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) messages (t) crime