Lincolnshire

Alexander Monson: Kenya police cell death aristocrat 'not an addict'

Alexander Monson Image copyright Monson family
Image caption Alexander Monson moved to live in Kenya in 2008, the trial heard

The mother of a British aristocrat found dead in a cell in Kenya has told a court her son was not a drug addict.

Hilary Martin was giving evidence at the trial in Mombasa of four policemen accused of murdering Alexander Monson.

Mr Monson, 28, son of the 12th Baron Monson, was arrested for allegedly smoking cannabis in the Diani beach resort in May 2012.

An inquest in June 2018 found he died from a head injury while in custody. Four police officers deny his murder.

The men, Naftali Chege, Charles Wangombe Munyiri, Baraka Bulima and John Pamba, are on trial at the High Court in Mombasa.

Mr Monson, heir to the family estate in Lincolnshire, moved to Kenya to live with his mother in 2008, the court heard.

She described how she had been called by a friend of her son, who told her he had been arrested and accused of smoking bhang, a form of cannabis.

Ms Martin, who runs hospitality beach houses at Diani, said her son had spent time planting bamboo and was fit and healthy at the time of his arrest.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Hilary Martin, pictured with her husband John Lockhart Mure, told the court her son had "gone through a great deal of suffering"

Ms Martin told the court: "I know my son, like many youths, used drugs.

"He had a problem at one point, but he had gone through a great deal of suffering to sort himself out."

The inquest in Kenya in June 2018 concluded Mr Monson died in custody after being struck with a blunt object.

It followed his arrest during a night out in Diani.

A pathologist hired by the family found Mr Monson was killed by a blow to the back of his head.

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

The trial continues.

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