Lorry driver Mo Robinson, who is accused over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants, has pleaded guilty to plotting to assist in illegal immigration.
Appearing by video link at the Old Bailey this morning, the 25-year-old from Craigavon in Northern Ireland, whose full name is Maurice Robinson, was asked not to enter a plea to 41 other charges, including 39 counts of manslaughter.
The victims, who included 31 men and boys and eight women, were found on an industrial estate in Essex on 23 October.
No trial date was set and Robinson is due back in court on 13 December.
Another man, 23-year old Christopher Kennedy, will appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
He is charged with conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the travel of people with a view to exploitation and conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of UK immigration law.
Kennedy was arrested in Buckinghamshire on Friday night, in the sixth arrest in the investigation.
The youngest two victims were just 15 years old, while there was also a 17-year-old and a further seven aged 18 or 19. The oldest was 44 years old.