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Man ordered to pay £180k to lorry death families

Time and date:2010-12-5 17:23:32  author:Press center9   source:Press center9  view:  comment:0
Content summary:Ronan Hughes is serving a jail sentence for killing 39 Vietnamese nationals found on a lorry in Essex. center

A man convicted over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found in a lorry container has been ordered to pay their families more than £180,000.

The men, women and children suffocated en route from Zeebrugge to Purfleet, Essex, in October 2019.

Ronan Hughes, 43, of Armagh, Northern Ireland, was jailed for 20 years after admitting manslaughter.

At the Old Bailey, Judge Mark Lucraft KC said the penalty for defaulting on the order was two years in prison.

The court heard available assets included cash, bank accounts, the value of lorries, including the one in which the victims died, and Hughes's share of a property in Ireland.

The judge ordered that the confiscated sum of £182,078.90 be paid in compensation "to the families of those killed in this terrible tragedy".

Hughes was described as "a ringleader of a people smuggling ring" at a previous hearing at the same court in London.

The bodies of the Vietnamese nationals were discovered at an industrial estate in Grays in Essex, soon after the lorry arrived in the UK on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium.

Ten teenagers, two of them 15-year-old boys, were among the dead.

An inquest heard their medical cause of death was asphyxia and hyperthermia, as temperatures rose in the back of the sealed lorry container and oxygen levels dropped.

Previously, three other men were jailed for between 27 years and 13 years and four months for manslaughter and plotting to smuggle people.

Other members of the gang have been jailed for their role in the operation.

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