Unusual business: An innocent man gets off a murder charge
- December 6, 2017
- Posted by: Bishop Group
- Category: Blog
The everyday work of a corporate investigator are the foibles of the business world: fraud, litigation, tracing assets, trademark and patent infringements, etc. But once in a while something comes our way that’s different and more important.
On 4 June last year he was packing up for a house move with the help of a Kenyan friend, 42-year-old Grace Wangechi Kinyanjui. Grace came across a gun that Richard legally owned. He normally stored the gun and ammunition separately. Unfortunately, there was one bullet in the chamber of the gun. Grace fired the pistol.
Richard was in another room sorting out paperwork. When he heard the shot he ran to where Grace lay bleeding. He activated a security alarm that brought two security guards to the house within minutes. Grace was still alive. They placed her in a car and made a dash for the hospital. By the time they arrived she was dead.
The police were called to the hospital and returned with Richard to his home where he explained what appeared to have happened. In their wisdom, the police arrested Richard and charged him with murder. He spent three months on remand in a Nairobi prison.
When he was arrested members of his family contacted an old school friend who is a London-based investment banker. He turned to a senior French businessman known to be familiar with the world of investigations. He is a former client of Bishop International and referred the banker to our firm.
As part of our work on the case, Bishop engaged a forensic science group. They prepared three reports: one by a ballistics expert, another by a scenes of crime expert and a third by a forensic pathologist. All were useful, but it was the report by ballistics expert Geoff Arnold that turned the case. He demonstrated that the bullet ricocheted off the floor into Grace causing fatal damage.
Prosecutors in Kenya reviewed the forensic reports and, as a result, the case was dismissed before it went to trial. Richard Alden is free and his family can breathe easy again.
While cases for corporations, financial institutions and law firms make up 95 percent of the revenue of the Bishop Group, such cases can never feel as rewarding as one with so strong an element of human destiny as Richard Alden’s.