The Crown Prosecution Service has been asked to review evidence into the coronavirus-related death of railway worker Belly Mujinga, who died after she was spat on at work.
British Transport Police (BTP) said the case is not being reopened but it has invited the CPS to conduct an independent review of the available evidence, and whether there were any further lines of inquiry.
Ms Mujinga died in April with coronavirus, a few weeks after an incident at London’s Victoria station, leaving a widower and an 11-year-old daughter.
BTP interviewed a 57-year-old man but said the incident did not lead to the worker’s death and decided not to refer the case to the CPS.
A petition seeking justice for Ms Mujinga has so far been signed by more than a million people.
In a statement released on Friday, 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 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 force outlined the reasoning behind its decision, including whether there was a causal link between Ms Mujinga being spat on and her death.
It said: “ Where the police do not think there is sufficient evidence to support a prosecution, the initial threshold is not met and a referral to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is not made.
“Nonetheless, in recognition of the wider public interest in the circumstances of this case, we have invited independent review by the CPS of the available evidence, and whether there are any further lines of enquiry and opinion in relation to BTP’s position on the prospect of meeting the general principle of a successful prosecution.”
Ms Mujinga’s husband Lusamba has thanked those who have signed the petition calling for justice for her, 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.”
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