Jimmy Mubenga deportation death: G4S guards will not face charges

No one will be charged for the death of Jimmy Makenda Mubenga, an Angolan man who collapsed while being deported, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.

CPS said there was not enough evidence to charge anyone over Mr. Mubenga’s death.

He died on 12th October 2010 on a flight to Angola before it had left Heathrow airport. Mr. Mubenga died from cardiorespiratory collapse after being restrained by security guards.

A specialist prosecutor within the CPS reviewed the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police Service into Mr. Mubenga’s tragic death.

Gaon Hart, Senior Crown Advocate within the CPS Special Crime Division, said: "I have considered whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute three security guards, or their employer, G4S Care and Justice Services UK Limited (G4S) for the tragic death of Jimmy Mubenga. After very careful consideration of all the evidence, and consultation with medical experts and experienced counsel, I have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to bring any charges for Mr. Mubenga's death. These conclusions are reached in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors which states that I cannot bring a prosecution unless there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.”

The three security guards, Terence Hughes, Stuart Tribelnig and Colin Kaler, were arrested in October 2010 and released on police bail.

"To prosecute any of the three security guards for the offence of 'gross negligence manslaughter', the law requires that I can prove to a jury that any potential breach of duty of care owed to Mr. Mubenga was a 'more than minimal' cause of his death. Taking into account the compelling evidence from medical experts, who identified a number of potential causes of death, I have concluded that I would be unable to prove this,” Mr. Hart said. “The experts' evidence was that I would need to be able to specifically prove that Mr. Mubenga was held in a 'severely splinted position' that is bent over with his head either on or below his knees and his diaphragm restricted – for a sufficient period of time to show that it was the actions of the security guards and nothing else which was the more than a minimal cause of Mr Mubenga's death.”

Mr. Hart said there were conflicting witness accounts of the manner in which Mr. Mubenga was restrained. “No witness had an unrestricted or uninterrupted view of what happened, and there is no overall clear picture of what happened in that key window of time to be able to convince a court that Mr. Mubenga was held in the 'severely splinted' position for a sufficient period of time,” he said.

Although experts suggested there were shortcomings in the training given to the security guards about the causes of asphyxiation, Mr. Hart said there were no grounds to prosecute G4S for corporate manslaughter. He pointed out that the G4S had “followed training recommended by the UK Border Agency and the National Offenders Management Service, which had been found to be 'safe and fit for purpose' after official review.”

“I am, therefore, not satisfied that a jury would find any potential failure in the G4S training to be considered criminal,” Mr. Hart added.

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