Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Channel deaths accused said ‘I will take you there or kill you all’, court hears

Ibrahima Bah is charged with four counts of manslaughter over fatal small boat incident in English Channel (Elizabeth Cook/PA)
Ibrahima Bah is charged with four counts of manslaughter over fatal small boat incident in English Channel (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

A migrant accused of the manslaughter of four fellow passengers in an “unseaworthy” inflatable boat he piloted to the UK allegedly joked “I will either take you there or kill you all”, a court has heard.

Ibrahima Bah, who is over 18, is accused of killing four other migrants who drowned while seeking passage from France to the UK on December 14 2022.

At the opening of the re-trial at Canterbury Crown Court on Tuesday, jurors were told the home-built, low-quality inflatable should have had no more than 20 people on board, but in fact, tried to carry at least 43 people across the English Channel that night.

While the majority of travellers paid thousands of euros to smugglers for a spot in the overcrowded vessel, prosecutor Duncan Atkinson KC said it appears Bah did not pay for his journey because he piloted the dingy, therefore owing his fellow passengers a “duty of care”.

But Mr Atkinson said Bah was not trained or licensed to lead the voyage and there was insufficient safety equipment such as life jackets and no flares or radio on board.

Their journey was also navigated by using a mobile phone.

Mr Atkinson said: “He, as the pilot, owed to the passengers of that small and vulnerable boat for their safety during the crossing that he had agreed to make.

“He was aware that the boat was overcrowded, lacking in safety equipment and that, as it took in water, that it was increasingly unseaworthy.”

The court heard that when the boat got into trouble a number of migrants inside the boat described water reaching their knees within 30 minutes of leaving the French coastline.

Mr Atkinson said: “Despite these increasing and obvious problems, the defendant continued to head into UK waters.

“Indeed, one passenger considered that the defendant was driving the boat at an unsafe and excessive speed. That passenger also heard him say ‘I will either take you there or kill you all’.”

In a summarised account of one of the Afghan asylum seekers on the boat that night, Mr Atkinson said it was something “he heard him, he thought jokingly, say”.

The jury heard that a crew on a UK fishing boat called the Arcturus came across the sinking boat and tried to rescue the passengers, with help from the RNLI, air ambulance and UK Border Force.

A total of 39 survivors were brought to shore in the port of Dover.

The exact number of migrants who drowned is unknown as it appears at least one migrant’s body was not recovered, Mr Atkinson added.

The court heard how Bah told police after the rescue that he travelled from Senegal to Mali, Algeria and then Libya two years earlier, before travelling by boat from Libya to Italy using smugglers.

Bah, who is also accused of facilitating a breach of immigration law, denies all charges.

On Monday, jurors heard that Bah’s defence is likely to be that he was acting under duress and that he did not know he was facilitating a breach of immigration law.

The trial continues.