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Friday 19th September 2014
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Two Men Remanded After Tilbury Docks Death

Saturday, 23rd August 2014 07:27

Two lorry drivers have been remanded in custody after appearing in court in connection with the death of a migrant found in a shipping container at Tilbury Docks.

Essex Police said Stephen McLaughlin, 34, and Timothy Murphy, 33, both from County Londonderry, were charged with people smuggling.

The charge sheet said that the pair "together with other persons unknown" jointly conspired between August 1 and 17 "to do an act, namely clandestinely convey 35 Afghan nationals by sea in to an English port, which facilitated the commission of a breach of immigration law".

Thirty-five people were discovered in a container at the Port of Tilbury, south Essex, on August 16.

Meet Singh Kapoor, 40, from Afghanistan, was found dead inside the airtight container on a ship that had arrived from Zeebrugge in Belgium.

Murphy, from Derry, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court in Essex where he spoke only to confirm his name and personal details.

He was remanded in custody and told he must appear at Basildon Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on a date to be set during the week beginning November 17.

McLaughlin, of Limavady, also spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and personal details from the dock.

He was also remanded to next appear by video-link for a hearing at the same place and at a time to be determined in the same week.

A post-mortem examination on Mr Kapoor had failed to establish the cause of his death and inquiries are continuing.

The rest of the group of Afghan Sikhs from Kabul, including 13 children, survived the ordeal.

They are believed to have fled Afghanistan after suffering persecution and are in the process of claiming asylum in the UK.