Belly Mujinga: police ask CPS to review rail worker's Covid-19 death

·2-min read

The Crown Prosecution Service has been asked to review evidence into the death of the railway worker Belly Mujinga in recognition of wider public interest, although the case is not being reopened, British Transport Police said.

Mujinga, 49, died on 5 April after contracting Covid-19. She fell ill with the coronavirus days after it was alleged a man who said he had Covid-19 spat and coughed at her and a colleague at Victoria station in London.

After investigation the BTP took no further action in the case because they did not find CCTV evidence that she had been spat at or coughed on.

They concluded: “There is no evidence to substantiate any criminal offences having taken place, and the tragic death of Belly Mujinga was not a consequence of this incident.”

The decision sparked anger among demonstrators at this week’s Black Lives Matter protest. Many chanted Mujinga’s name and called for justice for her.

The BTP released a further statement on Friday to help contextualise their approach to investigating the allegations: “Following a review of all the information available, including the CCTV footage, witness statements and explanations given in interviews, senior detectives concluded that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate that any criminal offences had taken place and that the death of Mrs Mujinga did not occur as a consequence of that incident.”

A family photograph of Belly Mujinga
A family photograph of Belly Mujinga. Photograph: PA

The statement went on: “We considered a range of potential criminal offences that might have been committed. Where there is evidence of someone deliberately spitting at another person this might constitute common assault or a public order offence.

“In order to consider whether any actions contributed to Mrs Mujinga contracting coronavirus and her subsequent tragic passing, it would be necessary to first have evidence of spitting or another action that might lead to infection, and therefore have a direct causal link.”

The investigating officers concluded there was insufficient evidence to support a prosecution based on the allegation that the man spat deliberately at Mujinga or said he had coronavirus.

Earlier on Friday, Lusamba Katalay, Mujinga’s husband, said in a statement: “Black lives do matter. Belly’s life mattered. It mattered to me, to our daughter, our friends and family, to Belly’s colleagues, and now it matters to many thousands of you out there.

He added: “We want justice for Belly. Belly didn’t lie about being assaulted. Belly and her colleague were confronted and intimidated as frontline workers and their concerns and their fears were ignored. We continue to have questions after the police investigation.”

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