Essex lorry deaths: Irish man facing extradition to UK has history of illegal migrant transportation
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Essex lorry deaths: Irish man facing extradition to UK has history of illegal migrant transportation

A NORTHERN IRISH man being held by police over the deaths of 39 migrants found in the back of a lorry container in Essex last October has a reported history of illegally transporting migrants.

Eamon Harrison (23), from Co. Down has allegedly been involved in two other instances of smuggling migrants into the UK.

It's also alleged the trailer at the centre of the Essex tragedy was used on one of those two prior occasions.

Mr Harrison was arrested at Dublin Port after returning from France and Belgium following the incident in Essex.

It's understood that he delivered the lorry in question to the port in Zeebrugge, Belgium, and later signed the shipping notice for it, before its onward journey to Britain.

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Last month, a high court judge ruled that there was nothing to stop the extradition of Mr Harrison to the UK to face charges of manslaughter and human trafficking.

The Northern Irishman's lawyers however argue that there's no proof that the 39 migrants died while in the UK and have appealed the ruling.

A decision on the appeal is due from the High Court next week.

Evidence from the High Court judgement states that the sealed refrigeration unit was not turned on inside the lorry prior to its journey.

The judgment also stated that the temperature inside rose to 38.5 degrees before it "steadily reduced".

"Bloody hand prints" were later found in the inside of the unit, and it's believed that the migrants - all Vietnamese nationals - died from oxygen deprivation.

The judgment also states there is evidence that the sealed refrigeration unit was not turned on.

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