Co Derry man cleared of smuggling 35 immigrants in to the UK

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A Co Derry man has been cleared of smuggling 35 immigrants in to the UK in a container in which one man died.

Four men have been on trial at Basildon Crown Court after denying organising the operation which was detected when 35 Afghan Sikhs, including 15 children, were found inside the container at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on August 16.

Among them 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 found Timothy Murphy, 33, of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, not guilty of conspiring to facilitate illegal entry into the UK.

Earlier this week Taha Sharif, who is Kurdish and was living in Tottenham, London, was found guilty of the same charge.

The jury has yet to reach verdicts on Stephen McLaughlin, of Londonderry, and Martin McGlinchey, 47, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, who both deny the offence.