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TSSA says appointment of Belly Mujinga inquest expert gives "real confidence" 

12 July 2021

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has said news that an expert is to be employed to help look into the circumstances surrounding the death of TSSA union member Belly Mujinga gives "real confidence" in the process.

Belly, a front-line railway worker, died on 5 April 2020 just two weeks after it was reported she was coughed on by a customer at London's Victoria station (21 March).

A BBC Panorama investigation subsequently raised serious questions about the inquiries into her death carried out by her employer, GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) and the police.

At a preliminary hearing at Barnet Coroner’s Court today Senior North London Coroner, Andrew Walker, said “causation” would be a starting point in helping to plot what areas may need to be covered at the inquest.

He said that an expert would be needed to deal with the possible causes of the covid infection that led to Belly’s death in what would be the first phase of a “step-by-step" approach towards the inquest.

Responding, union leader Cortes said: “Appointing an expert to look into what happened to Belly gives us real confidence in the inquest process.

“It’s always been our contention that there are far too many outstanding questions over her death. Cleary the Coroner is keen to leave no stone unturned and our union stands ready to help in any way we can so that we can get to the bottom of what happened.

“The full facts simply must be established so that Belly’s family can have the closure they deserve, and lessons can be learned from this tragic case which touched our nation.” 

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