Maurice Robinson and the Essex Lorry Killers: Who is he and what charges did he face?
The BBC is airing a program about the deaths of 39 migrants.
The entire tale of one of the UK’s largest ever police investigations will be told in Hunting the Essex Lorry Killers.
The documentary shows how a 999 call from lorry driver Maurice Robinson in Essex led to the discovery of a multi-million pound international smuggling conspiracy by cops.
On October 23, 2019, police reacted to a 999 call and discovered that 39 Vietnamese migrants had died from suffocation in the lorry’s sealed container.
The casualties were 31 males, eight women, and a 15-year-old who were transported from Zeebrugge to Essex.
The smuggling organization had its origins in a very innocuous-looking trucking company in Northern Ireland.
Maurice Robinson, a 26-year-old former lorry driver from Co Armagh, claimed at first that he had no idea he was involved in a human trafficking ring.
His fiancée was pregnant at the time of the incident, and he later admitted to helping Ronan Hughes, 41, run a multi-million pound smuggling business.
For his role in the operation, which began in May 2018, he was charged with 39 counts of manslaughter and pled guilty to money laundering.
At a court hearing in January 2021, Maurice was sentenced to 13 years and four months in jail for his role in the crime.