Belfast Telegraph

Men to face retrial in immigrants 'smuggling' case

Two men accused of smuggling 35 immigrants into the UK in a container in which one man died will face a fresh trial.

Four defendants stood trial earlier this year after denying organising the operation after 35 Afghan Sikhs, including 15 children, were found inside the container at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on August 16 last year.

Among those inside the container was Meet Singh Kapoor, 40, who had died in the overnight crossing from Zeebrugge, Belgium. The rest survived the ordeal but were found distressed in cramped conditions.

The jury failed to reach verdicts on Stephen McLaughlin, 34, of Londonderry, and Martin McGlinchey, 47, of Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, who both denied conspiring to facilitate illegal entry into the UK.

The Crown Prosecution Service has now confirmed that there will be a retrial scheduled to take place at Basildon Crown Court on May 23 next year.

Timothy Murphy, 33, of Londonderry, was found not guilty of conspiring to facilitate illegal entry into the UK.

Taha Sharif, 38, who is Kurdish and was living in Tottenham, London, was convicted of the same charge.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

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