Man who spat at railway worker who died of coronavirus will not face criminal charges because he tested negative

Telegraph reporters
·2-min read
Belly Mujinga, 47,
Belly Mujinga, 47,
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter

The man suspected of spitting at a railway worker who later died of coronavirus will not face criminal charges because he tested negative.

Belly Mujinga, 47, died with Covid-19 in April, around two weeks after allegedly being spat at by a man who claimed to have the virus at London's Victoria station, leaving a widower and an 11-year-old daughter.

British Transport Police (BTP) interviewed a 57-year-old man over the incident but said there was not enough evidence a crime had taken place, following a review of statements from key witnesses, including colleagues, and CCTV footage.

Detectives found there was insufficient evidence of spitting or another action that could lead to infection and concluded Mrs Mujinga's death did not occur because of that incident.

But the force asked the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to review the evidence and look into whether there were any further lines of inquiry.

Deputy chief Crown prosecutor Suzanne Llewellyn said on Thursday: "Belly Mujinga's death from Covid-19 aged just 47 in April was a heartbreaking event that shocked the country.

"As part of this review, we studied enhanced CCTV, forensic materials and witness statements.

"CCTV and witness evidence was insufficiently clear and consistent to substantiate allegations of deliberate coughing or spitting, meaning no charges can be brought for assault or public order offences.

"Medical tests confirmed the suspect had not been infected with coronavirus, which together with the lack of other evidence rules out any charges in relation to homicide.”

Coronavirus podcast newest episode ALWAYS USE THIS
Coronavirus podcast newest episode ALWAYS USE THIS

DNA evidence from Mrs Mujinga's clothing was inconclusive, she added. 

"Therefore after careful consideration and with all lines of inquiry explored, we have advised BTP no further reliable evidence has become available to change their original decision in this case.”

Ms Llwellyn said the CPS explained their decision to the family of Mrs Mujina.

Mrs Mujinga was working as a sales clerk at the time of the confrontation on the railway station concourse on March 21 and died on April 5 after contracting Covid-19.

Prosecutors considered charges of manslaughter, assault and public order offences but concluded there were no grounds to alter the police decision to take no further action.

Mrs Mujinga's husband Lusamba previously told how the decision to close the case took the family by surprise, coming amid anger over the killing of George Floyd in the US.

An online change.org petition launched in support of Mrs Mujinga has been signed by more than two million people.