| 7.5°C Belfast

No further action over death of railway worker following police inquiries

Detectives have concluded there is no evidence to substantiate any criminal offences having taken place over the death of Belly Mujinga, said BTP.

Close

Belly Mujinga (Family handout/PA)

Belly Mujinga (Family handout/PA)

Belly Mujinga (Family handout/PA)

No further action is being taken by police over the death from coronavirus of a railway worker, it has been announced.

British Transport Police said detectives have conducted extensive inquiries into the death of Belly Mujinga, who died in April, a few weeks after the incident at London’s Victoria station, leaving a widower and an 11-year-old daughter.

British Transport Police (BTP) said they had held a “full and thorough investigation”, including interviewing a 57-year-old man, adding that the incident did not lead to Belly’s death.

A statement 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.

“Very sadly, she died on 5 April in hospital, having tested positive for coronavirus.

As a result of our inquiries, we can now be confident that this incident did not lead to Belly’s tragic deathDetective Chief Inspector Sam Blackburn

“Detectives have conducted extensive inquiries to establish the full circumstances of what happened on 21 March.

“This has involved reviewing CCTV footage of the incident and speaking to key witnesses.

“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.

“No further action will be taken against a 57-year-old man from London who was interviewed in connection with this matter.

“Belly’s family have been informed about the result of the investigation and will continue to be supported by specialist officers.”

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.

While we note the BTP’s conclusions, this does not detract from the tragic loss of our colleagueAngie Doll, Southern Railway

“Our thoughts remain with her family and we will continue to support them as they come to terms with the loss of their much-loved mother and wife.”

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.

“Belly worked at Victoria for nine years and was a very friendly and well-liked member of our team who we sorely miss.

“Our heart goes out to her husband and daughter, who we continue to offer support to at this difficult time.

“Everyone on the railway is doing an incredible job helping healthcare professionals and other key workers to get to work at a challenging time.

This outcome does nothing to change the fact that all workers should be treated with compassion and respect, as we see out this crisis as a country and into the futureRail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris

“We are devastated that this pandemic has affected people across the transport industry, including two of our own colleagues who have sadly passed away due to coronavirus.

“We continue to do all we can to protect our extraordinary colleagues, who are key workers themselves, as the country focuses on defeating this terrible illness together.”

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “My thoughts remain with the family and loved ones of Belly Mujinga at this wrenching time, as well as with her colleagues and all critical workers on the railway and across the UK.

“This outcome does nothing to change the fact that all workers should be treated with compassion and respect, as we see out this crisis as a country and into the future.

“We will continue working to protect our frontline transport workers, who are playing a vital role in supporting passengers and keeping our country moving.”

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.

“We hope that the ORR’s health and safety investigation, which is ongoing, will help to establish more facts about this case and put in place clear guidance on protecting rail workers from this killer virus.

“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.

“Our thoughts and support remain with Belly’s family and her colleagues throughout this time.”

PA