Sunday, December 10, 2023

Grays lorry deaths: Trial was halted after Priti Patel tweet

A TWITTER post by the home secretary about the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants led to the trial of alleged people-smugglers being halted reports the BBC.

The migrants were found dead in a lorry trailer in Essex on 23 October 2019.

On the anniversary, Priti Patel tweeted they died “at the hands of ruthless criminals” and jurors were warned to ignore comments from politicians.

The Home Office said the tweet was quickly deleted and “not intended to reference” those involved in the trial.

Following the Old Bailey trial which ended on Monday

On 23 October, Ms Patel, MP for Witham, Essex, posted: “One year ago today, 39 people lost their lives in horrific circumstances at the hands of ruthless criminals.”

The trial was temporarily halted as lawyers in the case discussed what action should be taken.

In the absence of the jury, Alisdair Williamson QC, who was defending lorry driver Eamonn Harrison, complained about the description of “ruthless criminals”.

He said: “It is unhelpful to say the least and a lot worse could be said.”


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