A NORTHERN IRISHMAN embroiled in the Essex lorry death fiasco has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Ronan Hughes of Co. Armagh entered his plea at the Old Bailey this afternoon after being charged with the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese migrants whose bodies were discovered in the container of a lorry in Grays, Essex back in October 2019.
Among the dead were 10 teenagers and two boys aged 15.
40-year-old Hughes was one of a number involved in the attempted smuggling. Fellow Northern Irishman Mo Robinson, 25, who was driving the lorry when the bodies were discovered, pleaded guilty to manslaughter back in April.
The trailer in question had arrived earlier at Purfleet docks on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium.
Prosecutors alleged Hughes played a leading role by allowing his trailers and drivers to be used in human trafficking.
He was one of several men accused of being part of a people-smuggling ring linked to the deaths.
An inquest has heard the victims' medical cause of death was asphyxia and hyperthermia in an enclosed space.