Senior North London Coroner, Andrew Walker, has ruled that an inquest will be held into railway worker Belly Mujinga’s death, saying there is reason to suspect her death was “unnatural”.
Belly died on 5 April 2020, just two weeks after it was reported she was coughed on by a customer at London’s Victoria station, where she worked, on 21 March.
A BBC Panorama investigation subsequently raised questions about the inquiries into her death carried out by her employer, GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) and the police. Following that programme, TSSA union general secretary Manuel Cortes asked the Prime Minister to intervene and ensure that an inquest was held.
Commenting on the coroner’s decision, Manuel Cortes said: “Our entire union will welcome the decision to hold an inquest into Belly’s tragic death. As far as we are concerned, there have always been a number of outstanding questions about what happened to Belly and an inquest will be a step forward in the fight for justice.
“Belly’s death touched the nation and was keenly felt by so many transport workers who have bravely been on the front line throughout this terrible pandemic. We simply must know what happened and the lessons which can be learned.
“For all these reasons, and to bring peace to Belly’s family, without doubt it’s in the public interest to have an inquest.”