A CHINESE gangmaster who left his cockle pickers to drown in the rising tides of Morecambe Bay was being sentenced today.
Desperate to fill two lorry loads of cockles and with only half his workforce available, Lin Liang Ren failed to bring the cocklers to shore before the tide came in.
That night, on February 5, 2004, his workers became stranded in the icy waters in the Hest Bank area of the bay.
Twenty-three people, men and women aged between 18 and 45, died.
Two of the bodies have never been found.
Last week, Lin Liang Ren, 29, was convicted of 21 counts of manslaughter following a seven- month trial at Preston Crown Court.
The jury also found the gangmaster guilty of facilitating illegal immigration and perverting the course of justice.
His 21-year-old girlfriend Zhao Xiao Qing, known as Eva, was convicted of facilitation and perverting the course of justice.
Lin Liang Ren's 31- year-old cousin Lin Mu Yong was found guilty of facilitation.
The trio, who face jail, will be sentenced today at Preston Crown Court.
Judge Mr Justice Henriques said he would consider deportation.