No prosecution over Covid-19 death of railway worker Belly Mujinga, police say

The husband of railway worker Belly Mujinga has spoken of his sadness after police said her death from coronavirus was not linked to being spat at by a man claiming he was infected with the virus.

British Transport Police (BTP) said detectives had conducted extensive inquiries into reports the 47-year-old and a colleague were coughed
and spat at by a man on the concourse of London’s Victoria Station, who said he was infected with Covid-19.

Both women fell ill with the virus within days of the attack on March 22, and Ms Mujinga died in hospital in Barnet on April 5 – leaving a widower and an 11-year-old daughter.

BTP reviewed CCTV, spoke to witnesses and interviewed a 57-year-old man, but said the incident did not lead to Ms Mujinga’s death. No further action will be taken against the man.

Her husband, Lusamba Gode Katalay, told the PA news agency: “The police came and told me the CCTV does not prove anything.

Coronavirus – Tue May 12, 2020
Nobody will be prosecuted over the death of Belly Mujinga, 47 (family handout/PA)

“I do not know how strong I am to hear that. It is very sad for us.”

Asked whether he felt he would be able to get justice for his wife, Mr Katalay said: “I need to speak more with my family first.”

In a statement, BTP said: “On 11 May, it was reported to BTP that a 47-year-old lady, Belly Mujinga, had been spat and coughed at while working in the ticket hall with two colleagues on 21 March.

“Following a review of all the information, senior detectives have concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate any criminal offences having taken place, and that the tragic death of Belly Mujinga was not a consequence of this incident.

“As a result, the matter will not be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.”

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Blackburn said: “I know the loss of Belly has moved so many people, and I can assure you we have done everything we can to provide answers for her family.

“As a result of our inquiries, we can now be confident that this incident did not lead to Belly’s tragic death.”

Angie Doll, managing director of Southern Railway and Gatwick Express, said: “While we note the BTP’s conclusions, this does not detract from the tragic loss of our colleague.”

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, of which Belly was a member, said: “We are pleased that the British Transport Police investigated this incident as it sends a very strong message that abuse and attacks directed at transport workers are always unacceptable.

“What is clear is that protective equipment is absolutely vital to protect frontline workers like Belly. All transport workers on the front line should have access to masks, visors, hand sanitiser and other protective equipment.”

A fundraising page for Ms Mujinga’s family has seen more than £43,000 pledged.

To donate visit

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