Documentary about investigation into deaths of 39 Vietnamese people to show on BBC2

A primetime BBC television documentary about the Essex Police-led investigation to catch the criminals responsible for the deaths of 39 Vietnamese people will air this week.

‘Hunting the Essex Lorry Killers’ will air on BBC2 at 9pm on Wednesday October 13 and will recount the biggest homicide investigation in Essex Police’s 180-year history.

The documentary begins from the moment lorry driver Maurice Robinson made a 999 call to the East of England Ambulance Service to say he had 39 people dead in the back of his lorry in Grays on October 23, 2019.

It concludes at the Old Bailey, where those convicted of their manslaughter were jailed for more than 92 years between them.

The programme explores in detail the investigation and relentless pursuit of those involved in the illegal transportation of the victims that led to their tragic deaths.

Most importantly, the documentary seeks to represent the dignity and respect we at Essex Police have always sought for the 39 victims and their loved ones.

The documentary will feature interviews with senior investigating officer DCI Daniel Stoten, family liaison co-ordinator Michelle Stoten and detective constables Greig Avery and Jon Holden.

It also features Detective Inspector Nick Hampson, who helped compile some of the intelligence gathered; Paul Clark, who was the scene evidence recovery manager and part of the disaster victim identification team, and some of the officers who first responded to the scene, including PC Jack Emerson and PC Bradley Cohen.

The lorry discovered in Grays on October 23, 2019

It will also feature interviews with family members of some of the 39 victims and colleagues from the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Detective Constable Martin Brown, from Hertfordshire Police, who was one of the hundreds of officers to join Essex Police on mutual aid to assist with our investigation.

This hour-long documentary, whilst comprehensive, represents a small snapshot in time and does not represent all of the partners across the world who assisted in our investigation or the 1,400 people who worked on this investigation in some way. Most notably, the irreplaceable help from the National Crime Agency and the Vietnamese government and British embassies, and local authority Thurrock Council, all of whom helped us to move our investigation forward.

Senior investigating officer DCI Daniel Stoten said: “This is a tragic case that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

“It is my great privilege to have led this investigation, but it doesn’t change the overwhelming sense of loss and sadness that has been felt throughout by us all, by families, friends and by loved ones.

“They are in our thoughts, today and always.”

‘Hunting the Essex Lorry Killers’ airs on BBC2 at 9pm on Wednesday October 13.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]