LONDON (AA) – A British lorry driver pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 39 people on Friday in the case surrounding the discovery of dead Vietnamese migrants in a lorry container last October.
Ronan Hughes, 40, of Co Armagh in Northern Ireland, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court in London.
He was previously charged with 39 counts of manslaughter after the dead bodies of 39 Vietnamese people -- including women and children -- were found in the trailer of a lorry in Essex in October 2019. They had died of a lack of oxygen and overheating in an enclosed space.
Among the dead were 10 teenagers, including two 15-year-olds, who were the youngest victims. The oldest casualty was 44.
Hughes was accused of being part of a people-smuggling ring, and prosecutors said he played a leading role by allowing his trailers and drivers to be used.