THE trial of a haulier in connection with a people-smuggling operation that ended with the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found in a lorry trailer in Essex has been delayed until 2023 reports the BBC.
Caolan Gormley, of Kedew Road, Caledon, County Tyrone, denies conspiracy to assist illegal immigration.
It is alleged he allowed vehicles in his road haulage fleet to be used to transport of migrants into the UK.
A judge said finding trial slots was difficult due to the pandemic.
The victims, who ranged in age from 15 to 44 years old, were found shortly after the container they were in arrived in Purfleet-on-Thames on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium in the early hours of 23 October 2019.
Mr Gormley, 24, who is on unconditional bail, had been due to go on trial at the Old Bailey in June but it has now been pushed back until 31 January 2023.
Setting out the difficulties of finding trial slots in the pandemic, Judge Mark Lucraft QC said defendants in custody took priority.
Mr Gormley did not attend the hearing but was represented by his lawyer.
Judge Lucraft said he would review the situation at a hearing on 2 March.