April 16, 2021
Lawyers for Belly Mujinga, who died a year ago after contracting Covid-19, have raised questions about why a 57-year-old man escaped arrest despite allegedly spitting at the railway worker.
Belly Mujingas Lawyer On The Aspects Of The Case That Dont Add Up
Lawrence Davies, a lawyer for Mujinga’s family, told HuffPost UK a complaint had been made to the police watchdog over the British Transport Police’s (BTP) handling of the investigation as aspects of the case “don’t add up”.
Concern has been raised over the weight placed on the alleged assailant’s negative test for Covid-19 at such an early stage of the pandemic, the CCTV footage, and the refusal to disclose his name to the family – who wish to consider suing him for harassment and assault.
The railway worker, 47, died on April 5 last year – two weeks after the March 21 incident at London Victoria station.
According to Davies, BTP gave the man a choice between being arrested or attending an interview under caution. After opting to be interviewed, which finally took place in May, he allegedly explained his actions by saying he had an involuntary cough and was in a hurry when he spoke to Mujinga and her colleague.
He also said he didn’t have Covid because he had received a negative antibody test four days after the alleged assault.
But Davies, who has seen CCTV footage of the incident, counters the explanation.
Davies says the alleged assailant twice approached Mujinga and the colleague she was with, covering them in spittle while talking.
Between the two outbursts, the alleged attacker moved to a different area of the station and waited to be served at a ticket window. He appeared to be angered by the woman who served him, too. Given all this, Davies disputes the suggestion the man was in any particular hurry.
He also raises the significance of the man having had access to a Covid-19 antibody test – according to police, the test was taken as “part of [the man’s] occupation” – so early in the pandemic.
Davies told HuffPost UK: “For his employer to have access to an antibody testing regime at that time – when most employers didn’t – suggests he works for an organisation that is very well connected. So you’re looking at the health service, police, MILITARY, government.”
He also points to the high proportion of false negative tests that marked the early days of the outbreak. On April 6, professor John Newton, Public Health England’s head of testing, admitted that antibody tests ordered by the government up to that point were not good enough to use, and only people who had been severely ill would have tested positive.
Davies asks why BTP assumed the test was accurate and why the assailant wasn’t tested again in May when he was interviewed at a London police station.
The claim the cough was involuntary is also disputed by Davies. Both Belly and her colleague step back on the two occasions the alleged assailant is close to them. “The assault is quite clear from the CCTV,” he told HuffPost UK. “We think the story doesn’t add up.”
The footage, says Davies, also suggests a “racial intent”. He adds: “It doesn’t add up that he wasn’t charged. It’s hard to believe that if he had been a hulking Black guy – big framed, towering over two white female staff, put the fear of god into them, and assaulted them twice – [...] it’s hard to believe the BTP would not have done him for assault.”
Davies is also alarmed that Network Rail deleted the CCTV footage because Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), Mujinga’s employer, had not reported the incident to the police within 30 days.The “grainy” footage Davies has seen emerged following a request GTR had made on April 8 to Network Rail, but it did not say an alleged assault had taken place. He questions whether there was original footage from better angles, and what BTP asked for.
BTP said in May there was not enough evidence that a crime had taken place and closed the case. In August, the Crown Prosecution Service’s independent review had found “no further reliable evidence” to change the decision.
The CPS pointed out that, aside from the negative test, there was no medical evidence to link the suspect with Mujinga’s illness. It said DNA analysis of Mujinga’s clothing was inconclusive as to whether she had been coughed or spat on.
Suzanne Llewellyn, deputy chief Crown prosecutor, said at the time: “We considered whether charges could be brought in relation to homicide, assault or public order offences.
“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.
“Therefore, after careful consideration and with all lines of enquiry explored, we have advised BTP no further reliable evidence has become available to change their original decision in this case.”
But there are other concerns, too, about the conditions Mujinga was working under and how she was treated by her employer. Among them is the fact Mujinga had already made a racism complaint about the supervisor who she alleged sent her to work without a mask weeks before she died, Davies says.
In February 2020, Mujinga had complained about the supervisor – a letter to her employer has been seen by HuffPost UK – asking why she was suspended for weeks over a simple mistake that others had made and escaped punishment for.
The family is also alarmed that Mujinga – who suffered from a respiratory ailment – was taken off the rota working behind a ticket counter and was instead told to work on the concourse where she had to engage directly with the public.
GTR could not confirm whether the race complaint had been upheld, or whether any action had been taken subsequently. HuffPost UK has seen no evidence that the supervisor acted wrongly in relation to her shift pattern or the spitting incident.This is the last video Belly Mujinga made. A year on her family are still waiting for answers & accountability!@BorisJohnson grant them a public inquiry now #JusticeforBellyMujingapic.twitter.com/MKVBlN4h72— Lawrence GC Davies (@LDaviesEJ) April 7, 2021Mujinga suffered from sarcoidosis, which affected her breathing and meant she had regular medical check-ups and some restrictions on her operational duty.
On March 21, the rota shows Belly was supposed to be working at a ticket window, and not outside, and video she took days before her death shows how scared she was.
Davies says: “There was no objective need for them to be outside. The only time they are supposed to leave the ticket office is if there’s a super long queue, and it’s felt getting people outside can tackle the queue. But there’s no queue outside. In fact, there’s more staff outside than there are people.”
It was already in the public domain that GTR had not issued masks to its staff at the time of the attack – which was before mask-wearing was advised by the government.
But Davies alleges GTR had gone further and had actually forbidden its staff from wearing masks outside even if they wanted to, which was “an unusual step”.
He told HuffPost UK: “Management generally told staff they couldn’t wear masks. They didn’t provide them and told them they couldn’t wear them. According to the union, one person was disciplined for wearing a mask.
“Belly needed to because she had a respiratory condition, and she needed not to be working outside in the vicinity of the public. But if she was outside the very least she could have had was a mask.
“Apparently, she did have a mask – she was using a scarf – but people who were trying to wear masks were having them taken off them by management.” 
He says there “seems to be a general lack of care towards staff safety”.
As a result of the litany of concerns about the investigation, Mujinga’s family has complained to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which investigates the police. They are also considering a civil claim against GTR. A coroner is still to decide on whether to hold an inquest which in turn will inform whether the government launches a public inquiry.It has been a year since Belly Mujinga died from Covid after being "spat at" - the lawyer representing her family explains the "murky" issues surrounding the case. Read more: https://t.co/x0mWoOlwhU@mrjamesobpic.twitter.com/wwWyKUPHqU— LBC (@LBC) April 7, 2021HuffPost UK put the “race complaint” allegation to GTR, and asked whether any action was taken against this supervisor. A spokesperson said it would not comment on specific allegations, adding: “GTR does not tolerate racism and takes any allegation of racism extremely seriously.” 
Of the same supervisor sending Mujinga out to work on the concourse on the day the alleged assault took place, GTR referred HuffPost UK to an investigation report it published last autumn in which it stated that all office colleagues at the station were obliged to work in the ticket office and on the station concourse as part of their normal, daily duties. 
The report also claims Mujinga’s condition was not included in government guidance classifying an individual as vulnerable, though this changed in April after she had died. It has been frequently reported by Mujinga’s union, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), that Mujinga pleaded with her bosses after the attack not to be sent outside, asking instead to work from inside the ticket office. This was refused, it is said. She was only eventually authorised to shield after her doctor telephoned her employers after the incident on March.
Of not issuing masks to its staff at the time of the attack, the GTR report states: “At the time of the alleged incident, which took place prior to the wider lockdown, there was no guidance or advice in place suggesting face coverings or masks should be worn.
“As the pandemic developed, advice evolved and the travelling public was advised to wear face coverings. As soon as the official advice changed in May, we provided colleagues with face coverings. We currently offer colleagues a choice of disposable surgical masks, reusable cloth masks and face visors.”
On refusing to disclose the suspect’s name to Mujinga’s family or lawyer, BTP has said it has to consider the “safety and security” of the person involved, as well as the Data Protection Act which restricts the sharing of personal data gathered as part of a criminal investigation. 
A BTP spokesperson said: “Consequently and as per national policing guidelines, we would only release someone’s name in the public domain if and when criminal charges have been brought against them.
“In this case following consideration of the evidence, interview under caution and subsequent review by the Crown Prosecution Service, no further action was taken against them.”
The force said it is “not within the remit” of the police to assist the public in its pursuit of “civil remedies”.
Members of Mujinga’s family, including her husband Lusamba, attended a vigil outside Victoria station last week.
Sonali Bhattacharyya, a volunteer with the Justice for Belly campaign group, said campaigners were calling for an inquest into her death and a public inquiry to determine if GTR was culpable. There is no suggestion that Mujinga’s supervisor is culpable for any specific wrongdoing.
She said: “We’re here today on the first anniversary of Belly Mujinga’s death, united in anger and grief.
“A year on, and her family still have no answers. They still wait for justice.”Related...Union Calls For Inquest To Address 'Unanswered Questions' Over Belly Mujinga's DeathSix Unanswered Questions About Belly Mujinga’s Death As Pressure Mounts For An InquestBelly Mujinga: Prosecutors Rule Out Charges Over Railway Worker's DeathBelly Mujinga's Family Deserves Coronavirus Compensation, Urges MPBelly Mujinga's Colleagues Speak Out As CPS 'Reviews Evidence' Around Spit Attack
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Kourtney Kardashian & Travis Barker Are ENGAGED
October 17, 2021
PeL88fYrQ8g
Kate Middleton Stuns in Throwback Dress From 10 Years Ago
October 17, 2021
6mgB2_e-fS8
Blake Lively Trolls Ryan Reynolds After His Major Career News
October 17, 2021
MAXNG2bO0Qs
Kim Kardashian and Kanye Likely Won't Reconcile, She Now Owns Family Home | TMZ TV
October 15, 2021
attkYidh_Z8
Joe Rogan Stands Up to CNN | The TMZ Podcast
October 15, 2021
WgmPhCjlGoc
'The Masked Singer' Jester Costume Bulge Too Hot for TV | TMZ TV
October 15, 2021
0lnS7Gmu7O8
Jamie Lee Curtis talks 'Halloween Kills' and Laurie Strode's Legacy
October 14, 2021
-xyHjfTA2SY
Nicholas Braun, Jeremy Strong, Brian Cox and the cast of ‘Succession’ on the Red Carpet
October 14, 2021
O19yMBvhR48
Dave Chappelle Ignites Controversy, 'Halloween Kills' Hits Theaters | The Take
October 14, 2021
xOIUz0WuFS8
Disick ‘going crazy’ over Kourtney Kardashian, Travis Barker engagement | Page Six Celebrity News
October 18, 2021
JWOqwRAFNhI
Vicki Gunvalson accuses ex Steve Lodge of cheating, lying and using her | Page Six Celebrity News
October 15, 2021
3RB_p9_FZ-Y
Katey Sagal hit by car while crossing the street, taken to hospital | Page Six Celebrity News
October 15, 2021
5kT2IIVMy0o
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.