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CPS To Review Evidence Into Death of Railway Worker Belly Mujinga

CPS To Review Evidence Into Death of Railway Worker Belly Mujinga
05 June 2020 | Updated 18 June 2020
 

The Crown Prosecution Service is to review evidence into the death of railway worker Belly Mujinga, a ticket officer with underlying respiratory problems who died from coronavirus.

Mujinga was spat and coughed at on the station concourse by a man claiming to have coronavirus days before she died. According to a breaking news report by HuffPost, the evidence is being reviewed in “recognition of wider public interest”.

The British Transport Police investigated the assault but ruled that there was "no evidence" to substantiate any criminal offences having taken place, and that the death of  Mujinga was not a consequence of the incident.

The BBC published this morning that the main suspect had a negative antibody test in the time after the incident.

The incident has raised general questions on the issue of how employers can best protect their staff in these situations. The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) general secretary Manuel Cortes commented at the time that:  "As a vulnerable person in the 'at-risk' category, and her condition known to her employer, there are questions about why she wasn't stood down from frontline duties early on in this pandemic."

 

Bullying and harassment at work

 

“Belly Mujinga’s tragic death shows the need for transparent policies within an organisation to support employees if they experience bullying and harassment from customers and clients."

–Sandra Kerr CBE

Race Director, Business in the Community

 

Sandra Kerr CBE, Race Director at Business in the Community, offered the following comment:

“Belly Mujinga’s tragic death shows the need for transparent policies within an organisation to support employees if they experience bullying and harassment from customers and clients. The Race at Work 2018 survey demonstrated that there had been an increase in bullying and harassment from 2015 to 2018. 

“Since 2015 there has been an increase in the proportion of people from a BAME background who report they have witnessed or experienced racist harassment or bullying from customers or service users (up to 19% from 16%) – with those people of a mixed ethnicity experiencing the largest increase in harassment or bullying from customers (20% up from 13%).”

 

"Her employer, Govia Thameslink Railway, should have protected Belly better. Firstly she had a respiratory problem so she shouldn’t have been forced to work. Secondly, there was no protective equipment for her — like visors. That’s why we’re calling them to do better." 

–Lusamba Katalay

Belly Mujinga's husband

 

Latest from Belly Mujinga's family

 

An online petition on Change.org from Mujinga's family states that: "Belly's family are managing this petition with the support of the TSSA union. At this time, we are not pursuing a prosecution but are still campaigning to secure protection and support for those working at GTR [Govia Thameslink Railway]" 

Lusamba Katalay, Mujinga's husband, shared the following words in a post on Medium:

"Her employer, Govia Thameslink Railway, should have protected Belly better. Firstly she had a respiratory problem so she shouldn’t have been forced to work. Secondly, there was no protective equipment for her — like visors. That’s why we’re calling them to do better." 

Picture: London Victoria Station. Image credit: Network Rail

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 05 June 2020

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