A British businessman has been charged with the murder of a woman at his mansion as it emerged that she was shot from behind, according to her relatives who have seen the post-mortem report.
Former Deloitte executive Richard Alden, 52, appeared in court in Nairobi after the death of Kenyan national Grace Wangechi Kinyanjui, 42, on June 4 in Nairobi’s affluent Karen district.
Ms Kinyanjui’s uncle Njoroge Wainaina said the family had seen the post-mortem report and that it indicated she had been bending over in the bedroom and shot from behind.
As her family gathered in her parent’s village in Nanyuki, central Kenya, to bury her body, Mr Wainaina said: “That is the preliminary finding of the post-mortem report. We have not taken a position. We are waiting. We are crying for justice.”
Lawyers for Mr Alden, from Cowbridge, South Wales, confirmed they had heard “rumours” of the finding and said they would challenge the report when it is presented to court on Friday 16.
The telecommunications boss also denied an earlier claim by defence lawyer Evans Monari, who is no longer working on the case, that Ms Kinyanjui accidentally shot herself while taking a “selfie” with his gun.
“The actual story is she was in a different room and when [Mr Alden] heard a loud bang she was down. So how she shot herself we cannot tell because he was in a different room,” said defence lawyer Cliff Ombeta.
Tom Okundi, advocate on behalf of the Alden family, said: “The family of Richard Alden takes serious exception to the unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations concerning the circumstances surrounding the death of Ms. Grace Wangeci.
“We wish to inform the general public that although Richard was today charged with the offence of murder, investigations are very much still ongoing. Therefore, it is premature to make any statement which at best may only be aimed at influencing the outcome of such investigations and prejudicing the outcome of the case.
“Richard has cooperated and continues to cooperate with the police in the investigation. We wish to request that the media and the public avoid speculation and allow the case to take its course.”
Evans Monari confirmed that he was no longer working for Mr Alden saying: “I have a professional conflict.”
He refused to comment further.
Njoroge Wainaina, the victim’s uncle, said: “The report confirmed that it was a bullet shot from behind and it confirmed that prior to the shot she was in perfect health.
“We have buried her body. It was a well attended funeral with 500 guests.
“She was very outgoing, she had so many friends, she was very sociable. She was really wonderful. She was never married and had no children. She has two brothers and one sister and lots of nieces and nephews.
“We are mourning and grieving. She was an icon in our family. She was the breadwinner and the head of the family.
“She was in good health and in high spirits, she was at the top of her career. Taking her life? That’s out of the question.”
In court, Mr Alden pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder.
He will be detained at Nairobi’s Industrial Area prison until June 16 when his bail application will be heard.
Ms Kinyanjui had reportedly been helping him to pack for an upcoming move when she found the firearm.
But police launched a murder investigation after doctors allegedly found Ms Kinyanjui had suffered a broken finger and thumb and stab wounds.
In an affidavit delivered to court on Friday, Mr Alden requested to be released on bail stating: “My family solely depends on me and they will suffer if I continue to be detained.”
He wrote that he has been married to his “beloved wife” Martine for 28 years and is father to three children, and that his mother Elizabeth is 86 years old and is unwell and depending on him to pay her medical bills.
The affidavit continues: “When the alleged incident took place, I took the deceased to hospital and even called the police, this clearly shows I am not at a flight risk as I did not escape even when the opportunity presented itself.”
Prosecutor Nicholas Mutuku told the judge in Milimani Law Courts that Mr Alden had been taken for a psychiatric examination and declared fit to stand trial.
There are conflicting reports about the nature of their relationship.
Police claimed they were in a relationship and were living together but Mr Alden maintains they were just friends.
His wife Martine, who flew into Nairobi from London on Monday, sat in court on Friday.
Ms Kinyanjui, a business manager at Sentry Security of East Africa, met the couple through a local hiking group and they all took part in a marathon in Lewa, central Kenya, last June.