Briton beaten to death, says family
A British aristocrat who died in police custody in Diani was beaten to death, his family claimed on Thursday. They dismissed police reports that say he died of a drug overdose.
A family spokesman said Mr Alexander Monson was “violently assaulted” in police custody, adding that two pathologists had confirmed he died due to a massive blow to the head. “I personally saw the injury. We don’t know how or where it happened. But his death has absolutely nothing to do with drugs,” said the spokesman.
The family is being careful not to point fingers and the spokesman asked not to be identified “at this stage”.
But they have assembled an arsenal of facts to challenge the police allegation that Mr Monson died of a drug overdose. They also argue that the facts do not support an accident, such as a fall.
Mr Monson, 28, was described as “extremely strong and healthy” by the spokesman, who was present at the postmortem examination conducted by police pathologist Dr Titus Mbuuko and Dr Ngulungu for the family on Tuesday.
The cause of death was stated as haematoma, an injury to the brain which causes bleeding.
Police, who arrested Mr Monson allegedly for smoking bhang outside Tandori club in Diani, Kwale County, denied that there was any brutality involved.
Kwale police boss Richard Muguai said a preliminary report indicated Mr Monson died of “cardiovascular arrest”, according to doctors at Palm Beach Hospital in Diani, where he was admitted after falling ill while in custody.
“Information has indicated the boy died of heart problem but we are waiting for a post-mortem report to establish the cause of the death,” said Mr Muguai.
The family said the review was conducted on Tuesday and the findings were consistent with the symptoms he had shown at the hospital — loss of consciousness and difficulty breathing.
The swelling in the brain, the result of “blunt force trauma”, is what led to the heart attack, the family claimed.
Mr Monson was a grandson of Baron (Nicholas) Monson, the 12th Baron of Monson and a Lincolnshire landowner and peer.
When the 11th baron died last year, the title passed on to Alexander’s father, Nicholas John Monson.
Mr John Kariuki, who was at the club, told the Daily Nation that the public called the police on Mr Monson.
“We were at the club when the suspect started smoking bhang outside the club. One of the patrons called the police who responded promptly and arrested the daring white man,” said Mr Kariuki.
He was taken to Diani police station where he was booked for being in possession of bhang.
A half-smoked roll of bhang and “other tablets”, which police are investigating to establish if they were narcotics, were found on the suspect, claimed Mr Muguai.
He said Mr Monson was arrested on Friday night, but on Saturday the duty officer reported that he had ‘some complications and we took him to a hospital. He was admitted under tight security but after few hours, the doctor reported to us the suspect had died of cardiovascular arrest.’
“The suspects might have died of withdrawal symptoms since he might have been a hard drugs user. We have also taken the tablets we recovered from him to the Government Chemist to establish if they are drugs outlawed in the country.”
The family and their doctors are likely to contest that claim as they will any suggestion that he died of an overdose.
“A drug overdose does not kill you eight hours later,” said the family spokesman.
Mr Monson arrived in Kenya on April 29 on holiday until July 10, according to his tourist visa.