The family of Belly Mujinga, a London transport worker who died with Covid-19 after allegedly being spat and coughed at while on duty, have called for police to disclose the suspect’s name.

Mujinga, 47, died on 5 April last year after testing positive for Covid-19, two weeks after the alleged incident at Victoria station. British Transport Police (BTP) interviewed a 57-year-old man in connection with the incident but concluded there was “no evidence to substantiate any criminal offences” and closed the case.

Following a public outcry over Mujinga’s death, which raised serious questions about the safety of frontline workers during the pandemic, the CPS reviewed the evidence and possible lines of inquiry several months later, before concluding there was insufficient evidence and no charges were brought.

Speaking on the one-year anniversary of Mujinga’s death, a lawyer for the family, Lawrence Davies, said BTP had refused to disclose the suspect’s name, preventing them from pursuing a private prosecution and further civil claims.

He said: “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].”

Davies said the family were seeking the suspect’s name so they could consider suing him for harassment and assault. They were also considering a civil claim against Mujinga’s employer, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), he said.

Belly Mujinga
Belly Mujinga

BTP said it was considering 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.

But there was an exception for lawyers seeking that information in order to sue a person within the civil courts, Davies said.

The senior coroner Andrew Walker is still considering whether to hold an inquest into Mujinga’s death. The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has told the family’s lawyers he would await the coroner’s decision before answering calls for a public inquiry.

Members of the family, including Mujinga’s husband, Lusamba Katalay, attended a socially distanced vigil outside Victoria station on Monday and held a minute’s silence at at 11.22am – the time she was allegedly assaulted – to mark the anniversary of her death.

Sonali Bhattacharyya, a volunteer with the Justice for Belly campaign group, said campaigners were calling for an inquest into her death and a public inquiry to determine if GTR was culpable. “We’re here today on the first anniversary of Belly Mujinga’s death, united in anger and grief. A year on, and her family still have no answers. They still wait for justice.”

Vigils were also held outside GTR stations around the country including in Bedford, Brighton, Harlington, East Croydon and Tooting.

Speaking through a translator, Katalay told reporters his wife was a “very good person, a wonderful wife at home and a very good mother”. He said she was “terribly missed” and he wanted justice to be done so he and his daughter, Ingrid, 12, could “have peace”.

This content first appear on the guardian

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