A MAN has appeared in court charged with human trafficking offences after the bodies of 39 migrants were found in a refrigerated lorry container in Grays.

Christopher Kennedy, 23, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court charged with two counts.

Both are alleged to have taken place between May 21 last year and October 24 this year, the first states he arranged the travel of another person, or persons, with a view to exploit them from Purfleet.

The second states he conspired, with others, to breach UK immigration laws by smuggling a non-EU citizen into the country.

The charges do not directly relate to the deaths of the 39 Vietnamese immigrants found dead on Wednesday, October 23, but are part of Essex Police's wider investigation.

Kennedy was arrested on Friday, in Buckinghamshire.

Kennedy, of Corkley Road, Northern Ireland, appeared in a grey jumper and black coat, with a mustache and beard.

He remained impassive during the proceedings and spoke only to confirm his name, address and nationality.

He did not enter any pleas.

Prosecutor Anja Hohmeyer told the magistrates' bench that bail should not be granted and that the police investigation into the deaths of the 39 Vietnamese in the lorry container is "very complex and very challenging".

Chair of the magistrates' bench Ian Fuller chose to remand Kennedy in custody until a further hearing on December 13 at the Old Bailey.

He will therefore appear at the same court on the same day as Mo Robinson, who today admitted being part of trafficking plot which led to 39 deaths in the lorry container in Grays.