The High Court has dismissed a judicial review by Alina Joseph to overturn a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to charge her son’s killer.
The judgement is a painful blow for the family’s campaign for justice led by Christopher’s mother.
Alina Joseph said,
“The suspect killed my son, the CPS have concluded that there is enough evidence to prosecute him for manslaughter, he has lied again and again about what happened and he has never shown any remorse. But it is decided by the authorities that he should not be put on trial.
“When you take a child’s life and lie about it, you should have to answer for your actions. But this individual – who took Christopher from us - gets away scot free. As I feared, this judgment confirms the criminal justice system and the CPS in particular value the welfare of the perpetrator, over the life of Christopher and my family. The suspect has been given a licence to lie, cause harm and even endanger life again.”.
“I am a woman, a sister, an aunt to someone’s daughter, a UK citizen, a mother and more importantly Christopher’s mother. I am not driven to seek justice because I am grief stricken or because of personal vendetta. I am purely seeking justice according to the law because the law tells me that I have the right to fair treatment, what is morally right and so I seek to understand what exactly happened to my son. To date I nor my family have been given the opportunity. We need answers and deserve them without delay”
Daniel Cooper, solicitor representing Alina Jospeh said,
“This is a very disappointing decision for my client. We are considering the judgment and will decide with her on next steps.”
Faith Walker, a close friend of the family said,
"The events leading to Christopher's death and its aftermath is not simply a personal tragedy but it is wake-up call for Wales. We must rise up and make a difference in this case otherwise Black Lives will never matter".
Suresh Grover, coordinator of the Justice Campaign said,
“The decision is a cruel blow for all of us. It is also a bitter reflection of the prevalence of racism inequality in the Criminal Justice System. The perverse judgement disregards Christopher’s right to life and gives more weight to inconvenience that may be suffered by the suspect if he was tried. How is that just and fair? The alarm bells have been rung forcing us to redouble our efforts to support Alina’s quest for justice”
The high court hearing into the killing of young black schoolchild, Christopher Kapesa, and the subsequent decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to charge the suspect despite overwhelming evidence of a homicide of manslaughter was held on Thursday 13 January 2022.
Christopher’s mother, Alina Joseph, used her Victims’ Right to Review to appeal the decision, however the CPS maintained its position and refused to prosecute the suspect.
An application for a judicial review was initially lodged on 20th October 2020, by Christopher’s mother, Ms. Alina Joseph.
In June 2021, the High Court granted permission to challenge the CPS decision on a number of grounds including that it may have “failed to properly value human life and the harm caused by the offence”.
Christopher’s case has raised important legal and social policy issues.
The CPS’s decision not to charge by solely relying on the public interest ‘test’ is not only controversial, given the age of the deceased, but is viewed by his family as unlawful given the specific circumstances that led to the killing on 1st July 2019 in Mountain Ash in South Wales. On that fateful day, Christopher was deliberately pushed by another young person into the River Cynon and died hours later. There is evidence that this young suspect and others on the scene knew that Christopher could not swim.
There is also clear evidence that Christopher’s family has been subjected to racism and hate crimes both before and after his death. Soon after the killing, for instance, a local resident was charged with a racially aggravated offence against the family and convicted. Christopher’s case has attracted national attention; gained prominence during the global Black Lives Matter protests and the campaign petition has so far attracted over 110,000 signatures. Over two dozen Members of UK Parliament have signed an Early Day Motion. The case highlights a litany of Police failures in their initial response to the killing, similar to the case of Stephen Lawrence in London in 1993 , and the family has therefore demanded an independent Inquiry into the conduct of South Wales Police.
Alina Joseph is represented by Daniel Cooper at Imran Khan and Partners, Michael Mansfield QC at Nexus Chambers, and Philip Rule at No5 Chambers.
Daniel Cooper can be contacted via DanielC@ikpsolicitors.com or 020 7404 3004.
For further information on the family campaign, contact Suresh Grover (M: 07816 3091 706) or Dorothea Jones. T: 020 7582 7438 and follow the Justice for Christopher Kapessa campaign on twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Dorothea Jones coordinates the socials.