Court approves surrender of Harrison over Essex deaths

Elias Hubbard
January 24, 2020

He is wanted for his alleged role in transporting the trailer in which the bodies of eight women and 31 men, all Vietnamese nationals, were found on an industrial park in Grays, Essex, in the early hours of 23 October.

The High Court is due to deliver its judgement this morning on whether an Irishman should be extradited to the United Kingdom to face manslaughter charges.

An Irish judge ruled Friday that a truck driver wanted over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found in a refrigerated container near London can be extradited from Ireland to the United Kingdom.

Christopher Kennedy, 23, from Darkley, County Armagh, Northern Ireland has denied conspiracy to commit human trafficking offences between May 1 2018 and October 24 2019 by arranging or facilitating the travel of other people with a view to exploitation.

His conspiracy charges are connected to human trafficking and assisting unlawful immigration.

Defence barrister Tony McGillicuddy asked the judge not to make the order today so as to allow time for Mr Harrison to consider an appeal.

Mr Justice Donald Binchy said that after receiving comprehensive arguments from both sides, he made a decision to approve the extradition.

The manslaughter charge carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Mr Harrison was arrested at Dublin Port after returning from France and Belgium.

A previous court hearing heard he had driven the container in which the 39 people were found to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge before it was transported to England.

Harrison's lawyers had argued that Britain should not be able to seek his extradition because the alleged offenses took place in Belgium.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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