An inquest into Belly Mujinga’s death will be held this summer

Written by Amy Beecham

The railway worker is believed to have died after she was spat on by someone with coronavirus in April 2020.

An inquest into the death of railway station worker Belly Mujinga will be held in June, a coroner has confirmed.

Mujinga, 47, died in 2020 with coronavirus after she was reportedly coughed on and spat at by a passenger at London’s Victoria station.

Her husband, Lusamba Gode Katalay, and daughter Ingrid were two of only 10 people permitted at her funeral due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Her death sparked outrage, with more than two million people signing a petition in support of Mujinga and activists marching for “justice for Belly Mujinga”.

British Transport Police (BTP) initially interviewed a 57-year-old man over the incident, but said there was not enough evidence that a crime had taken place. However, BTP later requested that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) carry out an independent review of the case in light of the “wider public interest”.

Andrew Walker, senior coroner for North London, said the inquest would start on 27 June and last for up to seven days.

Protestors in 2020 demand justice for Belly Mujinga

In March 2022, Mujinga’s family told The Guardian that they were still lacking key information nearly two years after her death.

CCTV footage is reported to show a large white man approaching Mujinga, who worked for Govia Thameslink Railway, and her colleague, then either coughing or spitting at them and shouting at them before backing off, pointing. He then stood in a queue and went on to go through the same motions again.

Suzanne Llewellyn, deputy chief crown prosecutor, said “enhanced CCTV, forensic materials and witness statements” had been studied ahead of the inquest to look at whether homicide, assault or public order charges could be brought but the footage was not sufficiently clear.

Despite the delays, many welcomed the news of the inquest on social media.

Activist and author Nova Reid tweeted: “Thinking of Belly Mujinga today and the fact her family still does not have any justice. Public inquest is finally this summer.”

On the two year anniversary of her death last month, Labour MP for Streatham Bell Ribeiro-Addy wrote: “It’s two years since Belly Mujinga lost her life to Covid after being spat at whilst working.

Today, I’m thinking of Belly’s loved ones and praying they get the answers and accountability they need from the forthcoming inquest #JusticeforBellyMujinga”

Images: Getty

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