Two Derry men remanded in custody in connection with container death

Saturday 23 August 2014 22.08
The lorry drivers, are to appear in custody at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court today
The lorry drivers, are to appear in custody at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court today

Two men from Northern Ireland have been remanded in custody in connection with the death of a man found in a container at Tilbury Docks.

Stephen McLaughlin, 34, and Timothy Murphy, 33, are accused of conspiring to facilitate illegal entry into the UK.

Timothy Murphy, 33 of Elmgrove, Derry, has been remanded alongside Stephen McLaughlin, 34, of Limavady, Derry, with conspiring to facilitate illegal entry into the UK.

The men spoke only to confirm their names and personal details when they appeared during separate hearings at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court in Essex.

They are charged with conspiring with each other and "with other persons unknown" to "clandestinely convey 35 Afghan nationals by sea in to an English port which facilitated the commission of a breach of immigration law".

The alleged offence is said to have taken place between 1 August  and 17 August.

The men sat quietly in the dock as they were each remanded in custody until a hearing at Basildon Crown Court on a date to be set during the week beginning 17 November.

Meet Singh Kapoor, 40, from Afghanistan, was found dead inside the container at the Essex port on 16 August.

Mr Kapoor was among a group of 35 immigrants, including 13 children, the rest of whom survived the ordeal.

The group is believed to have fled Afghanistan after suffering persecution.

They are in the process of claiming asylum in the UK after travelling to Europe in a lorry.

They reportedly spent 18 hours in the cargo container en route to the UK.

The ages of those in the container ranged from one to 72.

Essex Police said a post-mortem examination on Mr Kapoor had failed to establish the cause of his death and inquiries are continuing.