UK driver watched a 'wee bit of Netflix' while 39 migrants were loaded into truck

November 20, 2020 

The British truck driver who ferried a container where 39 migrants died said in court Thursday that he didn't see the refugees being loaded into the truck because he was watching a "wee bit of Netflix" at the time, a report said.

The driver, 23-year-old Eamonn Harrison of Northern Ireland, said in court that he got involved in the smuggling operation through his boss, Ronan Hughes, the Guardian reported.

Harrison said Hughes directed him to pick up an illegal load in Northern France on Oct. 22, 2019, but he thought it was only stolen truck parts -- not people, according to the report.

When he got to the pick-up point, a man who spoke little English told him to stay in the cab, draw the curtains and sleep while the truck was loaded, Harrison testified.

He did as he was told and decided to watch a "wee bit of Netflix," Harrison testified. He claimed to have not seen any of the migrants being loaded into the truck, the report said.

He then drove the truck to a port in Belgium, where it was shipped to England. When it arrived in the county of Essex, the 39 men, women and children were found dead in the trailer.

Harrison, who is charged with manslaughter, said he got involved in the operation because he owed Hughes money from a drunk-driving accident that destroyed a shipment of bacon worth more than $65,000.

A court sketch of Eamonn Harrison, second from right.PA Images/Sipa USA

He testified that he only thought he would be smuggling stolen truck parts, not people, according to the BBC.

When he found out about the migrants who died in the truck, he said he "felt s-t" and "devastated" for their families.

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