From ‘Meet Monty’ : www.http://montys-story.com/
Alexander Monson (Monty) was born on 4th January 1984 in London. His parents are, Nicholas Monson from England and Hilary Martin from Kenya.
Alexander spent his childhood between London, Oxfordshire, Nairobi and Diani Beach (Kenya) with his younger sister, Isabella, as a constant companion.
Alexander went to school at Marlborough College, Wiltshire (where he was christened Monty) but studied for A-Levels at d’Overbroeck’s in Oxford, relishing the freedom of a more liberal environment.
Alexander was an extremely talented artist, he took Art A-level and was accepted to Chelsea Arts College. He then moved onto to City University, London to study Psychology.
In 2009 Monty went back to his Kenyan roots by moving to his grandparent’s house in Diani. Here, he put into action his entrepreneurial spark by starting a Bamboo plantation. Alexander also helped his mother, Hilary, with the family business (Four Twenty South beach cottages). He loved the beach lifestyle and spent many an hour out on the reef kite surfing.
Monty was a unique and special person who was many things to many people. His love of life inspired all who had the fortune to meet him. Which is why having his life tragically cut short at the age of 28 in such mysterious circumstances is a huge loss.
Summary of Events from the Daily Telegraph
By Mike Pflanz, Nairobi
7:00PM BST 07 Jul 2012
Two months after the former Marlborough College pupil died of a massive blood clot to his brain, no arrests have been made, no public inquiry opened and no report published into the 28-year-old’s death.
Police officers alleged to have assaulted Mr Monson during questioning while he was under arrest for possessing drugs have not been suspended or any action taken against them.
“It’s quite easy to make a timeline in your head where there’s very little confusion in terms of what happened. In police custody, he sustained blunt force trauma to the head, which he died from. Any which way you look at it, police are culpable in some way.
“Knowing which police officers were there that night, and having other witnesses, it should not be that difficult to find out what happened and it really shouldn’t even have taken this long.”
Mr Monson was arrested at the end of a night out with friends in Diani Beach, the resort town on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast that is popular with British tourists and where Mr Monson’s mother, Hilary, owns a complex of upmarket holiday cottages.
Police officers arrested Mr Monson for allegedly smoking a cannabis cigarette, at 2am on May 19. Later, other narcotics including ketamine, derived from veterinary tranquilisers, were found in his possession.
Mr Monson fell seriously ill while in police custody. Police claim that his collapse into unconsciousness was caused by his drug use.
His family, led by his father, Nicholas, the 16th Baron Monson of Burton, say he was hit over the head.
Pathology reports by both Kenyan government doctors and independent experts hired by the family both showed that he died from a blood clot caused by a haemorrhage in his brain, brought on by a blow to the skull. There was further evidence that he had tried to defend himself from punches and kicks.
Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph this week, Lord Monson, 57, said that he agreed with his daughter that the inquiry into his son’s death is taking too long.
“It appears to have stalled, and we have no idea why because from everyone’s perspective, it’s something very simple,” he said, as he continued preparations for a substantial memorial service for his son to be held in London in September.
“I’m not going to say that there’s any funny business going on with the investigation, and I’m not going to say that they’re trying to cover anything up. But it does not make sense to me that they have not made any arrests.
“If the police are allowed to get away with this, they’ll realise they can get away with anything.”
The Sunday Telegraph has been shown a copy of the entry in the “occurrence book” from the Diani Police Station the night that Mr Monson was arrested. All events that take place at any police post across Kenya are recorded in these large desk ledgers.
Five police officers are named for the entry on the day when Mr Monson was arrested: an inspector, a corporal and three constables, and all have been questioned as part of the confidential police investigation into how Mr Monson died.
However, none has been suspended from duty.
Eric Kiraithe, spokesman for the Kenya Police, said that the matter was being handled “as a priority” but added that it would take time before “appropriate action” would be taken. He did not say what action that might be.
Sources with knowledge of the investigation say that it has been completed and handed to Kenya’s director of public prosecutions, Keriako Tobiko, who will make the final decision on whether to open a court case.
The system, however, concerns Mr Monson’s family.
“The situation is that the police have to investigate the police, their own officers, and that’s completely unrealistic,” Miss Monson said.
“We have to go through the proper channels, and there are natural delays in the system, there’s a huge backlog. But that’s no excuse for this very simple case to be taking so long.”
Adding to the family’s unease, Mr Monson’s mother Hilary, 58, told The Sunday Telegraph last week that a group of men claiming to be police officers arrived at her beach-side home earlier this month “to case the joint”, she claimed.
“It was all rather sinister,” she said. “The came to the house, we were out, and one showed the cook some sort of police ID, but the others refused to show any identification.
“They said they were investigating the disappearance or theft of an iPad, but that seems far fetched because we’d had no guests at the time and no-one had reported it.
“It’s hard not to be a little paranoid and think that someone’s out to do something rather unfriendly. I can’t say what, but it has put us all on edge.”
Miss Monson said the weeks since her brother’s death had been “impossible” for her family.
“It’s only now that you realise that your life is irrevocably changed.
Since her brother died, her career has taken a sudden new direction. A former editor of a travel magazine in Nairobi, Miss Monson is now volunteering at Kenya’s Independent Medico-Legal Unit, a human rights organisation dedicated to helping victims of police brutality.
Miss Monson’s father is following a similar path to his daughter, establishing the Alexander Monson Foundation that will be dedicated to supporting organisations working against police brutality in Kenya and across the world.
“Alexander was such a compassionate man, very self-contained, very content in the present, but also a kind of everyday philosopher who thought very deeply about things, who weighed both sides of an argument,” Miss Monson said.
“All of that has propelled me onto this new course, to understand the wider context about the situation of torture in Kenya.
“The only way that I can do something about it is to try to understand as much as I can about it.
“I think yes, it’s true, the best way to hold on to my brother is to find out exactly what had happened to him.”
Below is a timeline of the events surrounding Alexander’s death on the 20th of May, with supporting extracts from the media coverage.
Kenyan Police initially claimed that Alexander’s death was drug-related, and even when the results of the autopsy confirmed that he had in fact died from ‘blunt force trauma’ (a blow to the head) police continued to maintain that he had died from a marijuana overdose.
The police initially told the Telegraph in May 23rd said that Alexander ‘fell sick during police interrogation’:
“Police at the local Kwale station said Alexander was one of a group of people found outside a nightclub on Saturday.
“They had all been smoking cannabis, here we call it bhang. It is stronger than tourists know about and it can cause problems to those who are not used [to it],” an officer told the Telegraph.
“We took him to the police station for questioning but he said he was feeling bad so we took him to hospital.”
Richard Mungai, a Mombasa police spokesman, said that medical staff failed to resuscitate him after he fell unconscious at the Kwale District Hospital.
“We took him to the hospital and he died in the hands of the doctors,” Mr Mungai said. Managers at the hospital would not comment on the incident.
Reports in The Daily Mail were similar:
“Police spokesman Richard Mugwai said he had been in custody for just a few hours when he was rushed to hospital after starting to feel sick.
The officer said: ‘He was arrested outside a nightclub under the suspicion of having taken drugs.
‘We made preparations to interview and charge him but he then felt sick. We took him to the hospital and he died in the hands of the doctors.’”
Two independent autopsy results revealed that Alexander died of blunt force trauma to the head – not a drug overdose. He had also sustained other injuries including bruising to the groin and hand, suggesting he had been beaten and was trying to defend himself.
Alexander’s father, Lord Monson, told The Telegraph:
“The post-mortem reports are absolutely conclusive that Alexander died from a blow to the head, a blunt force trauma,” Lord Monson said in an interview from the hotel room he is staying in.
“He also had a severe bruise on his left wrist, consistent, the pathologists said, with a left-handed person, which Alexander was, trying to shield himself from a blow. There was also a serious bruise to his groin.”
Police continued to claim in the Telegraph that Alexander died of a Marijuana overdose:
“A Kenyan police spokesman confirmed that post mortem reports found that Mr Monson had died of “blunt force trauma”, but denied that the arresting officers or those at Diani Police Station were involved in any way. “He was openly smoking bhang [strong local cannabis] and our officers of course had to arrest him,” said Richard Muguai, the chief of police in Kwale, the district headquarters.
“I do not want to comment on these allegations that he was injured by our officers. It is not true, but to prove this, we have to wait for the full investigation to conclude. Samples of blood and other tissues have been sent to Nairobi for analysis. Our officers heard strange noises coming from his cell and when they entered inside, the man was on the floor and was choking. Our officers immediately called an ambulance.”
Staff at the bar where Alexander had spent the evening said that there was nothing wrong with him when he was arrested by the police:
“Witnesses at a pub where he had been playing pool said that he had been enjoying the evening and he was ready to go home at around 2am.
“They were standing outside when two police LandCruisers passed by, stopped and came back, then officers arrested the white man and his friend,” said the pub’s security manager, who refused to be named.
“During the whole night that he was here in the bar there was nothing wrong with him, nothing physical. I could not believe that he had died that very next day.”
Friends of Alexander who went to try to negotiate his release at the police station found him in good spirits, unharmed but locked in a cell.”
Keith Gladdis reported in the The Daily Mail:
“There is no evidence drugs played any part in the former Marlborough College student’s death.”
A key point that must be appreciated is that friends went to the police station throughout the night to try to negotiate his release. He was seen in good health at 4.15am. At 7:45am after another failed attempt to get him released; when friends left the station they could see the top of Alexander’s head through his cell window and his hands resting on the bars, meaning that he was standing up.
Police claimed that as soon as Alexander ‘fell ill’, they rushed him to hospital.
However, at 10:30am, when his friends returned to the police station, they found Alexander lying unconscious and unattended behind the police station counter:
“Alexander fell unconscious in mysterious circumstances. [His] friend returned to find him laid out on the floor behind the police station reception desk “looking grey and almost dead already”.”
Friends said initially the police refused to take Alexander to hospital.
When he eventually arrived at Palm Beach hospital, police told doctors that Alexander was dangerous and aggressive, and that he was suffering from a drug overdose. Consequently, he was not treated for a head injury at any point.
25th May: The police refused to accept the results of the autopsy,
erroneously claiming that the blood clot on Alexander’s brain was caused by marijuana use, not a blow to the head:
“Kenyan police insist that he fell ill from the effects of smoking a strong local variant of cannabis, called bhang, and that the blood clot on his brain was caused by his drug use.
A police spokesman refused to comment apart from to deny allegations that Mr Monson died after being beaten by a policeman early on Saturday morning.
“That is not true, but we have to wait for the results of the full investigation to be able to prove that it is not true,” the spokesman said. “
The police however did later concede that if there had been any wrongdoing, those responsible would be charged with murder:
“Richard Muguai, the chief of Kwale district police, which covers Diani, said yesterday that he would prosecute any officer found to have assaulted Mr Monson.
“I continue to deny that my officers were in anyway involved in that man’s death,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “But if any future investigations find they were involved I will personally charge them with murder.”
26th May: A Memorial service was held for Alexander at his family’s home in Diani Beach. His sister and father paid tribute to his life and friends who had flown in from all over the world read poetry. At 5:10pm, exactly a week after Alexander died, family and friends waded into the sea and threw wreaths and flowers into the surf.
“Speaking to The Telegraph yesterday, Isabella Monson described her brother as “unfailingly kind”.
“You could be so cross with him about something, anything, and he’d give you a big smile and big bear hug and that would be it, you’re no longer cross with him,” she said. “That smile and that hug, I am going to miss them so much.”
The memorial service began with mourners walking on to the beach and into the shallow waters at exactly 5.10pm – seven days to the minute since Mr Monson died, handcuffed to a bed in a hospital less than five miles from his mother’s house.”
“Lord Monson, 57, said: “Alex was best defined as a free spirit. He was a free thinker who lived his own life as he – and he alone – wanted to live it. The one voice Alexander always listened to and was always led by was his big heart. And we all loved him for that.”
His son, he said, was a “brilliant comet that blazed through the skies for 28 years”. “
2nd June: Mike Pflanz reveals a report from a police insider that Alexander may have been pressured into signing a false confession.
3rd June: Barbara Jones has seen an initial report from police investigators and reveals that three police officers have been identified as being involved in the assault: “but the greatest liability is on one corporal who constantly hit the boy”
In Kenya, The Daily Nation (the country’s leading newspaper) reports that the officers involved have been transferred (not suspended) from Diani Police Station. The Nation’s correspondent also quotes ananonymous policeman confirming friends reports that Alexander was in good health when he arrived at the station: “suspect was booked appearing normal and our report has proved police officers had collaborated with some prisoners in the custody to torture the suspect”.
6th June: The Daily Telegraph reports today that the Kenyan Police Officers have been taken off the case
“Three Kenyan police officers who were on duty the morning that a British aristocrat’s son died have been withdrawn from the case amid allegations of assault while he was in police custody, senior sources have said”. However, the article continued “It was not immediately clear if the men would be moved to other active duty elsewhere in Kenya, or would be suspended for the duration of the investigation”.
In Kenya, The Star reports the following: ‘Charge Policemen who killed Monson‘
“Monson was breaking the law if he was smoking bhang. But that is a minor offence. Murder is a serious offence. And it appears that Monson was killed by the police. The police need to ensure that the person who fractured Monson’s skull is charged with either manslaughter or murder. A transfer away from the Coast cannot constitute justice or punishment by any standard”