Autopsy reveals businessman who was in police custody died from severe head injuries

Family and friends of deceased Isiolo businessman who died mysteriously moments after he was booked over allegations of threatening to kill. [Darlington Manyara/Standard]
A post-mortem carried out on a businessman who died in hospital after being held at the Isiolo Police Station has established that he died following severe head injuries inflicted by a blunt object.

The autopsy results released on Wednesday contradict earlier police reports that Patrick Gitonga complained of being unwell and was taken to the Isiolo Level Four Hospital where he died.

The examination revealed that the 39-year-old businessman died from excessive internal bleeding.

In the report issued by Government Pathologist Grace Mindigo, Gitonga is said to have had a massive blood clot on the left side of his head where he was hit.

Commenting on the report, former Government Pathologist Moses Njue, who is representing Gitonga's family, said the victim also had injuries on the face and legs.

Turned violent

“It seems he was alert and struggled to defend himself. He had no open wounds; only internal injuries,” said Dr Njue.

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Gitonga had been arrested by four policemen from Isiolo after he allegedly threatened to attack a woman in Nyara area.

But Isiolo Sub-county Police Commander Moses Owiti defended the officers, saying the businessman turned on them when they went to arrest him.

“The moment he was being arrested he became violent and resisted. He actually wanted to hit one of the police officers with a stone. It is the public who helped the officers arrest him," said Mr Owiti.

“While in the cells, he complained of illness and was take to Isiolo Level Four Hospital where he was admitted before he died.”

Gitonga's family has dismissed the police claims and wants the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) to take up the case basing their investigations on the autopsy report.

“The family wants justice to be done first," said Malius Maranya, the family lawyer. "They want the post-mortem results to be considered as investigators carry on with their work. They want this case to be settled urgently." 

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Isiolo Police Stationautopsyformer Government Pathologist Moses Njue