Essex lorry deaths: Accused ‘devastated’ over container deaths

Publishedduration7 hours agoimage copyrightPA Mediaimage captionThe bodies of 39 Vietnamese nationals were discovered in a refrigerated trailer on 23 October last year

The driver who dropped off a lorry container carrying 39 migrants who were later found dead told a court he was "devastated" for their families.

Eamonn Harrison towed the trailer to a Belgian port, where it was transported to Essex. When opened on 23 October 2019, it was found to have the dead Vietnamese migrants inside.

Mr Harrison told jurors at the Old Bailey he did not know they were there.

The 23-year-old, of Newry, County Down, denies manslaughter.

The court had previously been told the victims, aged 15 to 44, suffocated in the sealed trailer en route from Zeebrugge to Purfleet in Essex.

Irish haulier boss Ronan Hughes, 41, and lorry driver Maurice Robinson, 26, have previously admitted manslaughter.

Mr Harrison told a jury he had suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which meant he struggled at school and found it hard to make friends.

However, he added he had "loved" his work as a lorry driver, a job he started at the age of 18.

He said when he met Mr Hughes he was "a gentleman", and he started to work for him.

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