British businessman suffers blow in wife’s murder case

British businessman Simon Harold Shiels has suffered a blow after the court in Malindi declined to stop his prosecution over the mysterious death of his Kenyan wife Jecinter Njoki.

Justice Stephen Githinji dismissed the Briton’s petition in which he wanted the murder charge dropped and his prosecution permanently halted.

Ms Njoki died on January 21, 2018, when she was run over by a vehicle that was allegedly being driven by the foreigner along Thalathameli-Kaoyeni road in Ganda area, Kilifi County.

It has been alleged that the deceased was fleeing for her life when Mr Shiels, driving his Mitsubishi pickup, caught up with her and knocked down the motorbike on which she was a passenger.

Mr Alex Kahindi was the bodaboda rider carrying Ms  Njoki at the time of the incident.

Initially, Mr Shiels faced traffic offence charges, but after years of investigations, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) revised the charge and enhanced it to that of murder.

The traffic offence was withdrawn from the Malindi court two weeks before the murder charge was filed. Mr Shiels was accused of causing death by dangerous driving.

Ms Njoki and Mr Shiels are alleged to have had a disagreement before the incident. The disagreement is said to have led the woman to flee and board Mr Kahindi’s motorbike. It was alleged that the foreigner then pursued and ran over them after knocking them down.

Ms Njoki was pronounced dead upon arrival at Malindi hospital. A postmortem examination revealed that she had died from hemorrhagic shock due to head injuries.

Documents filed in court have revealed that a heated property dispute arose between the foreigner, Njoki’s husband Amos Okoth Oluoch, and her children shortly after her death.

The woman’s children, Anthony Otieno and Ms Mary Akinyi, along with her relatives, contested the foreigner’s claim to the property they believed belonged to their mother.

In a case filed in 2018, Mr Oluoch sued Mr Shiels over the ownership of the property, which is valued at millions of shillings.

Mr Oluoch argued in the case that despite their separation, their marriage had not been formally dissolved, and therefore he was still her legal husband, as they had been married under Luo customary law in 1981.

“We separated but never divorced, so I am her dependent,” he stated.

However, he did not provide evidence to support this claim of a marriage conducted under Luo customary law.

The court still assumed that they were married, as they had lived together for over 10 years and had two children.

Evidence presented in the case revealed that after Oluoch and Njoki separated, she married Mr Shiels, and they lived together for a few more years before her death in 2018.

Court documents also indicate that the foreigner paid a dowry to the woman’s parents in a marriage under the Gikuyu customary law.

During the marriage with the foreigner, the couple acquired properties in Malindi worth millions of shillings.

However, Mr Oluoch referred to the foreigner as a “casual” boyfriend who took advantage of their separation to date her.

bocharo@ke.nationmedia.com

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