Death of Jimmy Mubenga – Charging decisions following inquest

20 March 2014

The Crown Prosecution Service has reviewed the evidence relating to the tragic death of Jimmy Mubenga in October 2010.

We had previously decided in July 2012 that no charges should be brought in relation to Mr Mubenga’s death. In accordance with a memorandum of understanding between prosecutors, coroners and the police, the case was reconsidered by the CPS following the verdict of unlawful killing at the inquest. All new evidence from the inquest was taken into account during this review.

The detainee custody officers

In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, the decision now is that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Colin Kaler, Terrence Hughes and Stuart Tribelnig to be prosecuted for manslaughter.

All three defendants were employed by G4S Care and Justice Services UK Limited (G4S) as detainee custody officers at the time of Mr Mubenga’s death and were tasked with removing him from the United Kingdom to Angola. They will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 7 April 2014.

Malcolm McHaffie, Deputy Head of CPS Special Crime, said:

“We have completed a fresh review of all of the evidence relating to the death of Jimmy Mubenga, including the new evidence arising from the inquest, and decided that three men should be prosecuted for manslaughter.

“There is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute Colin Kaler, Terrence Hughes and Stuart Tribelnig.

“Criminal proceedings are now underway and the defendants have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

G4S Care and Justice Services UK Limited

The CPS also considered whether G4S should be prosecuted for corporate manslaughter. Because of the date and circumstances of this death, in this case the offence exists both at common law (law developed by the courts over time) and under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

To prove corporate manslaughter at common law, the CPS would require evidence capable of establishing beyond reasonable doubt that a ‘controlling mind’ in the corporation – such as the chief executive officer – was personally guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

A prosecution under the 2007 Act would require proof to the criminal standard that the way in which G4S’s activities were managed or organised was a cause of death and amounted to a gross breach of a duty of care towards the deceased. Additionally, this offence would only be made out if it could also be proved that the way in which G4S’s activities were managed or organised by its senior management was a substantial element in the gross breach.

In considering potential corporate offences by G4S, the training available to (and undertaken by) its staff has been taken into account. In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, we have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute G4S for either offence and, due to the fact that related proceedings are now active, it would be inappropriate to comment further.

We will be writing to the family of Mr Mubenga to explain our decision making, to offer a meeting should they so wish and again offer our condolences.

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