Lorry driver charged with manslaughter after 39 bodies found in trailer
- Credit: PA
A 25-year-old man has been charged with manslaughter after the bodies of 39 people were found in a lorry container in Essex.
Maurice Robinson, of Laurel Drive, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, was arrested after paramedics found the bodies in the back of a lorry in Waterglade Retail Park, Grays, on Wednesday, October 23.
He has now been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter and is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Monday October, 28.
He has also been charged with conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.
An Essex Police statement said: "The Crown Prosecution service has authorised Essex Police to charge a man in connection with the investigation into the deaths of 39 people whose bodies were found in Grays on Wednesday.
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"Maurice Robinson, 25, of Laurel Drive, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, was arrested shortly after the discovery was made at the Waterglade Retail Park.
"Three other people have been arrested in connection with this investigation.
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"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."
Officials have also confirmed that, because of a lack of documentation, investigators will be using fingerprints and DNA evidence to identify many of the bodies.
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore, from Essex Police, said officers found "very, very few" papers among the victims - who were all now at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford.
Investigating officers will be examining post-mortem evidence and seeing whether distinguishing features such as teeth, tattoos, marks or scars could help with the identification process.
Whilst emphasising that he could not confirm the nationality of any victim, Mr Pasmore said information had been flowing into the casualty bureau at Essex Police from the Vietnamese community in the UK and abroad.