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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 17:53 GMT
'Gangmaster' denies cockling role
David Anthony Eden snr and David Anthony Eden jnr
Lin Liang Ren denied knowing David Anthony Eden and his son
The alleged gangmaster accused of the manslaughter of 21 cocklers in Morecambe Bay has denied knowing the men accused of buying cockles from him.

Lin Liang Ren, 29, of Liverpool, is accused of gross negligence leading to the drowning of the Chinese cockle pickers in February 2004.

David Anthony Eden, 62, and his son David Junior, 34, are accused of helping cocklers break immigration law.

Lin Liang Ren told Preston Crown Court he did not know the pair.

Two bodies missing

Lin Liang Ren denied ever telephoning the Edens, or visiting their business premises in Liverpool.

He admitted running gangs in the past but said he had given up after he was arrested by police.

He denies 21 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.

He also denies perverting the course of justice and facilitation - helping people break immigration law - along with his 21-year-old girlfriend Zhao Xiao Qing, also from Liverpool.

A total of 21 bodies, of men and women aged between 18 and 45, were recovered from the water surrounding Warton Sands.

Two further bodies have never been found.

The trial continues.

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