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Essex lorry deaths: 'Driver' pictured after being arrested on suspicion of murder
23 October 2019, 18:36
A lorry driver who is believed to have been behind the wheel of a vehicle in which 39 bodies were found has been pictured for the first time.
Mo Robinson, 25, was arrested on suspicion of murder after the discovery of the bodies in the back of a refrigerated trailer was made at 1.40am this morning at at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays.
The identities of the victims have so far not been revealed, although one has been confirmed to have been a teenager.
Mr Robinson, from a small village near Portadown in Northern Ireland is thought to have driven from his home to the port of Purfleet last night.
His partner is said to be expecting a baby, and his family have said they have not heard from him since the lorry was discovered in the early hours of the morning.
His brother told BelfastLive that the family "don't know what's going on".
Essex Police have moved the trailer and lorry to a secure location in Tilbury Docks.
Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said: "We have been progressing our investigations at the scene here in Grays throughout the day."
In order to ensure we maintain the dignity of the people who sadly lost their lives, we will be moving the lorry and the trailer shortly."
Once that movement has happened we will remain here to complete some scene examinations before we can allow all the business operators back to their premises."
It is possible temperatures inside the lorry's trailer could have plummeted to as low as -25C once the refrigerator was switched on.
Road Haulage Association CEO Richard Burnett said if the was refrigerator was switched on, conditions inside would be "absolutely horrendous" and cause conditions inside to become deadly "pretty quickly".
He added: "It's going to be dark. If the fridge is running it's going to be incredibly cold.
"The only place to go to the toilet is on board the back of the trailer. You can imagine if they've been in there for days then there will be faeces, there will be urine."
Police initially believed the lorry had come into the country from Bulgaria, but following investigation Essex Police said they now believe the trailer unit to have travelled from Zeebrugge.
Paige Wade was driving past the industrial park at 4.15am on the way home from work.
She said: "I honestly didn't see much, I had just finished work while driving up Motherwell Way and all you could see was blue flashing lights, as I was driving past there was police tape to cordon off the start of Eastern Avenue.
"I knew it was serious because of how many police cars and ambulances were there, but the police had parked their cars across the whole access of the road so you couldn't see anything.
"There's always lorries around there as they park up there for the night, I couldn't say whether I did or didn't see the actual lorry in question."