Gaon Hart, senior crown advocate in the CPS special crime division, cited "conflicting witness accounts" about the manner of Mubenga's restraint as reasoning for insufficient evidence, despite the fact that the counsel found there was a "breach of duty" in the way Mubenga was held. He continued:
It is not enough to tell a jury what may have caused a person's death; I have to have sufficient evidence that there is a realistic prospect of proving it to them beyond reasonable doubt, and in these circumstances the evidence did not satisfy that test."Deborah Coles, the co-director of Inquest, a charity that helps to support the families of people who die in custody, was understandably disappointed by the hearing:
The court did find that there were serious short-comings in G4S' training for their deportation guards, but decided that this did not provide concrete proof that the guards in question - or the company as a whole - could be held responsible for the death of Jimmy Mubenga.
So as the whole country publicly abuses G4S for their inability to provide 13,000 security guards for the Olympic Games, it is worth remembering that the outcry after the death of Jimmy Mubenga was substantially quieter. Whilst G4S no longer hold the contract for forcible deportation, detainees are still at risk from excessive restraint techniques used by guards from another private security company, Reliance Security. Donna Covey, of the Refugee Council, made the following statement:
“It is concerning that no individual or organisation is being held responsible for the tragic death of Jimmy Mubenga during a removal flight following the CPS’ decision today. Until this happens, the lives of people who continue to be enforcibly removed from the UK by security firms using dangerous restraint techniques remain at risk.
“The excessive use of restraint on detainees is unacceptable, and if enforced removals must be carried out, they must always be done in the safest way possible. The UK has a commitment to protecting people seeking safety in this country, so the UKBA and their sub-contractors must ensure those who have not been found to need protection here are at the very least returned to their home countries unharmed.”
Jimmy Mubenga will be remembered as devoted father and husband who died whilst in the hands of G4S. Whilst the company and the guards may never face charges, history and our memories will always tell a different story.