(THE GUARDIAN) – A lorry driver accused of manslaughter for his role in the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants said he was unaware that they had been helped into the sealed container at the back of his lorry because he was watching Netflix in the cab of his vehicle, the Old Bailey has heard.

Eamonn Harrison, 23, described how his boss, Ronan Hughes, an Irish haulier, instructed him to pick up a load from an industrial unit in northern France on 22 October 2019. Harrison told the court he was directed by Hughes to a meeting spot with an unnamed man who spoke poor English, and who indicated to him, mainly using sign language, that he should get back in his cab, draw the curtains and have a sleep while a shipment of goods was put into the back of the van.

Harrison said he thought he was involved in an operation to smuggle stolen lorry parts, and said he did as he was told, closed the curtains and watched “a wee bit of Netflix.”

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