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CPS asked to review evidence on Belly Mujinga's death as petition reaches one million
5 June 2020, 12:08
The Crown Prosecution Service has been asked to review evidence into the coronavirus-related death of railway worker Belly Mujinga in "recognition of wider public interest", British Transport Police have said.
The force added the case has not be reopened.
Ms Mujinga, 47, was on the concourse of Victoria station in London on 22 March when a member of the public who said he had Covid-19 allegedly spat and coughed at her and a colleague.
Both women fell ill with the virus, and 11 days later Ms Mujinga died, leaving behind a husband and 11-year-old daughter.
A 57-year-old man was interviewed about the reported assault, and the force said there was no evidence found anyone had spat during the incident.
The man also tested negative for coronavirus.
Attorney General Suella Braverman has previously ignored pleas for the case to be reopened, after BTP's investigation found there was "no evidence that an offence had occurred at that time."
In a new statement on Friday, BTP said it had invited the CPS to conduct an independent review of the available evidence, and whether there were any further lines of inquiry.
BTP said it understood the depth of feeling over the case and that there were further questions over how it was decided there was insufficient proof of a crime to justify a prosecution.
"We can assure the public that we have comprehensively reviewed all the available evidence and have not identified any offences or behaviour that meets the threshold for prosecution," said the statement.
The development came as the number of people signing a petition launched in support of Ms Mujinga topped a million.
The petition seeks justice for the family of Ms Mujinga, whose trade union the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) has received messages of support from across the UK and from countries including the US and Germany.
Ms Mujinga's husband Lusamba thanked those who have signed the petition, saying the family had been on a "rollercoaster of emotions".
The public reaction to the case being closed took the family by surprise, he said, adding it had come amid anger over the killing of George Floyd in the US.
He said: "On Wednesday, thousands of people protested in London to cry it loud that black lives matter. 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.
"We were there, united in our anger and our grief. United in our determination to be heard and in our determination to get change. We want justice for Belly."
Angie Doll, managing director of Southern Railway and Gatwick Express, said: "Our hearts go out to Belly's family who we continue to offer our deepest sympathies to.
"While the conclusion of the British Transport Police investigation found no evidence of spitting, any loss of one of our dedicated colleagues from coronavirus is one too many.
"Our absolute focus remains on keeping all of our colleagues safe, and we continue to follow all Government health advice to protect them. We thank our key workers for their commitment at this incredibly challenging time for our country."