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Live Yorkshire Covid news as PM confirms reopening of hairdressers and gyms

today05/04/2021

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Belly Mujinga’s family call for police to disclose spitting suspect’s name

The family of a railway worker who died with Covid-19 after allegedly being spat at have called for police to disclose the suspect’s name.

Belly Mujinga, 47, died on April 5 last year with coronavirus after she was reportedly coughed on and spat at days earlier by a white customer at London’s Victoria station.

British Transport Police (BTP) interviewed a 57-year-old man over the incident but said there was not enough evidence that a crime had taken place.

A lawyer for Mrs Mujinga’s family, Lawrence Davies, said the force had refused to disclose the suspect’s name, preventing them from pursuing a private prosecution and further civil claims.

Speaking on the anniversary of the university graduate’s death on Monday, Mr Davies told the PA news agency: “We are pushing for two things, an inquest and the name of the man who (allegedly) assaulted her.

“But the BTP won’t give the name. They have stonewalled me since September, so the family has complained to the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct).”

Mr Davies said the family was seeking the suspect’s name so they could consider suing him for harassment and assault.

They are also considering a civil claim against Mrs Mujinga’s employer, Govia Thameslink Railway, he added.

BTP said it had to consider the “safety and security” of the person involved, as well as the Data Protection Act which restricts the sharing of personal data gathered as part of a criminal investigation.

A BTP spokesman said: “Consequently and as per national policing guidelines, we would only release someone’s name in the public domain if and when criminal charges have been brought against them.

“In this case following consideration of the evidence, interview under caution and subsequent review by the Crown Prosecution Service, no further action was taken against them.”

The force said it is “not within the remit” of the police to assist the public in its pursuit of “civil remedies”.

Written by: Rother Radio News


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