RAIL bosses say there’s ‘no evidence’ a worker who died with coronavirus was spat on by a passenger shortly before she fell ill.
Belly Mujinga’s death on April 5 sparked outrage after police revealed they believed she was assaulted by a man at London’s Victoria Station a few weeks before she was rushed to hospital.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updatesRail worker Belly Mujinga’s death in April sparked outrage after it was claimed she’d been spat at before she was diagnosed with coronavirus[/caption] Mrs Mujinga – pictured with husband Lusamba Katalay – hadn’t been issued with PPE as it wasn’t yet part of Government guidance, bosses said[/caption] But investigators could find no evidence she was assaulted while she worked at Victoria Station in London[/caption]
But the investigation later fell apart after British Transport Police interviewed a 57-year-old man.
Following the probe, prosecutors said no charges would be brought.
And now the mum-of-one’s employers Govia Thameslink Railway say no complaints about spitting were made at the time – and addressed her husband’s fury that she hadn’t been issued with PPE.
Husband Lusamba Katalay said he and his 11-year-old daughter Ingrid had their ‘whole world’ taken from them.
And he urged bosses to explain why his “key worker wife hadn’t been given PPE, which might have saved her”.
Mr Katalay spoke of his fury and heartbreak after his wife’s death, revealing the last time he saw her in person was when an ambulance took her to Barnet Hospital from the couple’s flat in Hendon, North London.
Two days later, Mrs Mujinga – who he says had respiratory problems – died with the virus.
And her elderly mum — stuck in the African Democratic Republic of Congo where the couple were both born — could not be at her daughter’s funeral at Hendon Cemetery, which had a ten-mourner limit.
Mr Katalay said his wife told him she’d been spat at.
“She told me she was on the Victoria Station concourse with a colleague when a male stranger approached her and asked, ‘Why are you here?’,” he said.
“She told him, ‘Can’t you see my uniform? I’m working here.’Police interviewed a 57-year-old man after the alleged assault at the station – but prosecutors were unable to press charges [/caption] Mrs Mujinga, who had an 11-year-old daughter, told her husband she had been spat at while at work[/caption]
“He told her, ‘I have coronavirus and I’m giving it to you,’ and spat at her.”
Police launched a major search for the smartly dressed man, said to be aged around 50, who was captured on CCTV.
The attacker was branded “despicable” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman.
Railway investigators studied CCTV footage and interviewed 10 members of staff who had been present at the time or who were based at Victoria Station.
They said the footage had shown a man approaching Mrs Mujinga and two colleagues on March 21.
RAIL BOSS ADMITS ‘WE SHOULD HAVE SUPPORTED FAMILY BETTER’
But the man questioned by police was found not to have coronavirus – and neither Mrs Mujinga nor her colleagues made any complaint about spitting.
Allegations were only made after Mrs Mujinga’s death.
However, bosses for the train company admit there are “conflicting accounts” of what really happened – even though police “concluded the tragic death of Belly wasn’t a consequence of this incident”.
Mrs Mujinga had carried on working through the early days of the pandemic in London.
She had not revealed any health conditions that would stop her working with the public except “blood pressure”.
The mum began self-isolating in March 26, a day after reporting that her GP had told her to do so.
Now rail chiefs say their policy on protective equipment was “dictated by UK government, the Health and Safety Executive, and the Office of Rail and Road”.
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At the time of Mrs Mujinga’s death, there was no guidance that face coverings needed to be worn.
The company’s chief executive Patrick Verwer said: “Belly’s story continues to move us all, and we are heartbroken by her loss.”
He added that her death had been “incredibly difficult” for her family and “we learned that we should have supported them better”.