The mother of a drowned schoolboy has been given the go-ahead to request judicial review after the Crown Prosecution Service refused to charge the boy who pushed her son into a river.
Christopher Kapessa, 13, died in July 2019 and the CPS ruled it was not in the public interest to prosecute the 14-year-old boy who instigated him for manslaughter.
Kapessa’s mother Alina Joseph believes that if her son had been white, the investigation into his death “would have been very different,” and her request for judicial review was granted by the Supreme Court today.
Christopher Kapessa (pictured with his mother Alina Joseph), had been with a group of young people before going into the water and drowning in South Wales on July 1, 2019
Judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said: ‘In order to get permission, there must be well-disputable grounds with a realistic chance of success.
“Because I have had the advantage of hearing arguments, I give permission to request judicial review.”
The boy Christopher allegedly pushed into the water was white and one of 14 children playing on the banks of the River Cynon in South Wales on July 1, 2019.
The CPS decision took into account the fact that the older boy didn’t want to harm Christopher, he had a good character and a manslaughter charge would affect his future.
But mother of seven, Mrs. Joseph said, “What about Christopher’s future? He had a good future ahead of him.
“They’ve tried to ignore it as if Christopher’s life has no value. If that’s not racism, then I don’t know what is.
“The decision not to prosecute is a message to the public that you can do anything to black people and get away with it.”
Speaking of the day of Christopher’s death, she’d also said ‘everybody knew he couldn’t swim’.
Ms Joseph, a Stagecoach bus driver from Congo and now living in Mountain Ash, South Wales, claims that if a white child had drowned while playing with 13 black children, the outcome would have been completely different.
She said The times that Christopher had experienced racism in his life and was even beaten up in one incident and “left in a pool of his own blood.”
Christopher’s mother told BBC Wales she doesn’t want revenge, just a chance to bring the facts of the case to court. Pictured: Christopher Kapessa
The single mother moved to London, where Christopher was born, in the 1990s, before the family moved to South Wales in 2011.
South Wales Police interviewed the group of children aged 11 to 15 who were offered help after witnessing Christopher drowning.
Jenny Hopkins of the CPS Appeals and Assessment Unit said: “There was nothing in the youth statements to suggest that there were any racial issues or that this was a hate crime.
“The push legally amounted to an ordinary assault and thus a tort. This action resulted in the tragic death of Christopher and therefore there was a real prospect of conviction for manslaughter.
‘However, the public interest of our legal test has not been met. While the outcome was tragic, the evidence suggested the push was not an intentionally hostile or violent act.
Christopher Kapessa, one of seven children, (pictured above) had been with a group of young people before drowning in South Wales
Enthusiastic footballer Christopher, who was unable to swim, was found on 1 July 2019 in the River Cynon (above), near Fernhill in the Rhondda Cynon Taff, South Wales.
It was a foolish act, performed as a joke by a young boy who had not considered the full potential of the consequences. This makes the suspect’s actions less culpable.
“The seriousness of the incident and its impact on Christopher’s family must be weighed against guidelines that the best interests and well-being of the young person must be considered.
“A prosecution and conviction will have a significant adverse effect; effect on education, employment and the suspect’s future prospects.’
The Glamorgan coroner will conduct a full investigation into Christopher’s death.