When Belly Mujinga, a ticket office worker with Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) Southern at London Victoria station, died of coronavirus in April after being spat at on the station concourse, he colleagues and her union were up in arms.
She was 47 years old and had an 11-year-old daughter.
He death of COVID-19 came after an incident in which, on 22 March 2020, Belly and a colleague were on shift at London Victoria. They were out on the concourse by the ticket office when they were assaulted by a member of the public who spat at them, coughed over them and told them he had the virus.
Belly died on 5 April.
Although British Transport Police investigated the incident, and identified and interviewed a man who they believed could help their enquiries, 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.
However, BTP invited the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to review the available evidence, so see whether there were any further lines of enquiry that could be made and to evaluate the prospect of meeting the general principle of a successful prosecution.
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.”