Lincolnshire

Kenyan police 'killed aristocrat Alexander Monson'

Alexander Monson Image copyright Monson Family
Image caption Alexander Monson died in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of smoking cannabis

A British aristocrat who died in custody in Kenya was beaten to death by police, an inquest has ruled.

Alexander Monson, 28, son of Lord Nicholas Monson, was arrested for allegedly smoking cannabis in the Diani beach resort in May 2012.

His family has always maintained he was killed by the police, while officers claimed he died of a drug overdose.

Senior Principal Magistrate Richard Odenyo has recommended four officers be prosecuted.

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According to the AFP news agency, Mr Odenyo said: "His death was not natural, neither was it due to drugs.

"His life was cut short by the police and therefore, the director of public prosecution should prosecute the officers mentioned."

The officers suspected of being involved - named as Naftali Chege, John Pamba, Charles Munyiri and Ismael Pamba - had also contradicted each other, Mr Odenyo said.

He concluded the 28-year-old died from a blow to the head with a blunt object, inflicted while he was in custody.

Mr Monson, who was the son of the 12th Baron Monson and heir to the family estate in Lincolnshire, moved to Kenya to live with his mother Hilary Monson in 2008.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Hilary Monson and her husband John Lockhart sat in court during the ruling

Giving evidence during the inquest in Mombasa she said her son had been arrested after a night out with friends on suspicion of smoking bhang, a form of cannabis.

She was later told her son had been found on the floor of the police station convulsing.

Mrs Monson told the inquest, which started in 2015, she visited her son in hospital where he was chained to a bed.

"He was having very great difficulty breathing," she said.

'Brutal attack'

In a statement issued on behalf of the family, Lord Monson said: "It is a cause for jubilation that the magistrate has delivered the correct verdict."

"Alexander was unlawfully killed and the Kenyan police officers in post that night in Diani Police Station where he was held are being recommended for prosecution."

He said his son was subjected to "a brutal attack" while in the care of police, and was "left lying unconscious in a cell and, later, behind the station's report desk having been denied medical attention and any semblance of decency".

An independent pathologist hired by the family found Mr Monson died from a fatal blow to the back of his head.

Toxicology reports also showed he had no drugs in his system at the time of his death.

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