Northern Irish Lorry driver Maurice Robinson, who is accused over the deaths of 39 migrants found in a trailer at an industrial estate in England, has pleaded guilty to plotting to assist illegal immigration.
The 25-year-old, who is known as 'Mo', was allegedly part of a global smuggling ring and was charged with the manslaughter of a group of men, women and children found dead in Essex on October 23rd.
All of the victims - made up of 31 men and eight women - were later identified as being from Vietnam.
The youngest two boys were aged 15.
Robinson, whose Scania cab was attached to the trailer when the bodies were found, appeared at the Old Bailey in London via video link from Belmarsh Prison for a plea hearing.
Wearing a light blue sweater and tan trousers, he spoke to confirm his identity, nationality and to admit conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration between May 1st last year and October 25th 2019.
The charge sheet states that he plotted with others to do "an act or series of acts which facilitated the commission of a breach of immigration law by various persons".
Robinson - of Laurel Drive, Craigavon in Co Armagh - also admitted acquiring criminal property, namely cash, on the same dates but was not asked to enter pleas to other charges.
Those include the 39 counts of manslaughter and the transferring of criminal property.
He was remanded in custody until a further hearing on December 13th.
Main image: 25-year-old Maurice Robinson | Image: Facebook/Mo Robinson