The railway family was shocked and upset when reports came through that Belly Mujinga, a member of the ticket office team at London Victoria station, had died after she and a colleague were spat at on the station’s concourse by a man claiming to have Coronavirus (COVID-19). She was 47 years old and left an 11-year-old daughter.
British Transport Police investigated the incident, although they weren’t informed about the incident until 11 May 2020. The incident took place on 21 March and Mrs Mujinga died on 5 April.
BTP’s Major Serious and Organised Crime team (MSOC) reviewed the CCTV footage, which was still available, and identified a man who they believed could help their enquiries. He was interviewed under caution on 17 May, having voluntarily attended a BTP police station, and answered all questions put to him.
Following a review of all the information available, including the CCTV footage, witness statements and explanations given in interviews, senior detectives concluded that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate that any criminal offences had taken place and that the death of Mrs Mujinga did not occur as a consequence of that incident.
Nonetheless, in recognition of the wider public interest in the circumstances of this case, even though BTP had made the decision not to charge, it invited the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to review the available evidence, so see whether there were any further lines of enquiry the BTP could make and evaluate the prospect of meeting the general principle of a successful prosecution.
However, on 6 August 2020, Suzanne Llewellyn, deputy chief crown prosecutor, said: “At the request of British Transport Police, following their decision to take no further action in this case, the CPS has now independently reviewed the evidence and advised on any further lines of enquiry that might support a prosecution.
“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.
“We have met with the family of Ms Mujinga to explain our reasoning, which we know will be disappointing for them. Our deepest sympathies remain with the family.”