British lorry driver Maurice Robinson on Wednesday pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese migrants who were found dead in a refrigerated container last year.
Robinson, 25, from Craigavon in Northern Ireland, pleaded guilty to 39 counts of manslaughter at the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales in London, known as the Old Bailey.
At the same hearing, co-defendant Gheorghe Nica denied 39 counts of manslaughter. Both men appeared via video-link at the hearing.
Bodies of 39 Vietnamese nationals were discovered in a refrigerated trailer at an industrial estate in Essex on Oct. 23 last year. The trailer arrived in Britain on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium.
Essex police said ealier this year that the cause of death is a combination of hypoxia and hyperthermia. The victims included 10 teenagers, two of them 15-year-old boys.
According to the BBC, the other defendants face a trial at the Old Bailey lasting up to eight weeks. It is scheduled to begin on Oct. 5.