The High Court has awarded former Gatundu North MP Patrick Muiruri a record Sh15 million for his son’s killing by a police officer.
The award is the highest compensation for a victim of police brutality in recent times.
Dr James Ng’a ng’a was shot dead in 2009 and police inspector Dickson Munene was convicted for the murder. Munene has been on death row in Kamiti.
But Muiruri instituted a civil suit against the Attorney General arguing that at the time his 29 years old son died, he was working in the United Kingdom and earning Sh 5.4 Million every month.
In a land mark decision, which now raises the bar for compensating police brutality victims, High Court Judge Joseph Sergon found Muiruri had proven a case that needs compensation to elevate the pain of losing his son.
The Attorney General, representing the State in the case owned up that a trigger happy police officer had caused the death of an innocent civilian.
For pain and suffering, the court awarded Mr. Muiruri Sh100, 000 which was agreed on by both parties.
The AG however disputed the award on loss of income as the family wanted at least Sh300, 000 but he vouched for a half of the amount.
Justice Sergon settled for Sh200,000 noting that the deceased was quite young when he died.
The former law maker wanted Sh136 million as compensation for loss of life on account that he would work until 71 years but the AG was of the view that Sh5 million was enough.
The judge awarded Sh12 million, reason being that there was no evidence that Mr. Muiruri’s family would have depended on their son if he was arrive and he was not married by then.
Justice Sergon also awarded Sh3.5 million as exemplary damages. This award was given because the doctor died in the hands of a police officer.
Dr. Ng'ang'a was shot in cold blood on January 24, 2009 after a scuffle ensued between him and Munene. He was rushed to MP Shah Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The shooting occurred when Dr Nga'ng'a inquired from Munene why he was blocking their vehicle. The brawl had started outside a club in Westlands and Munene and his associate reportedly pursued along Forest road where the shooting happened. The court ruled the attack was extra judicial killing.
Munene's co-accused during trial, Alex Chepkonga, was however freed by the Court of Appeal after finding that he did not play a role in the fight.
Initially Munene and Chepkonga had been sentenced to hang by the High Court. The court found it was reckless for the officer to have used his pistol when the situation did not warrant such action.
“The deceased died as a result of a gunshot fired by a trigger happy police officer. The plaintiff and the defendant entered into a consent in which it was agreed that the defendant was wholly liable for the death of the deceased,” the judge ruled.
Munene had initially filed a report that he had killed a bank robber and Mungiki member but the court dismissed the explanation.