Kenya's aristocrat killer freed after three years

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The Independent Online

One of Kenya's most prominent white aristocrats was released from prison yesterday five months after being convicted of killing a black poacher on his vast family estate.

Thomas Cholmondeley, who had been held in custody since the 2006 shooting, was sentenced to eight months in prison earlier this year for the manslaughter of 37-year-old Robert Njoya. The judge had reduced the charge from murder, saying he believed Cholmondeley's attempts to give Mr Njoya first aid helped prove that he accidentally shot the poacher.

The incident was the second time in just over a year that Cholmondeley had shot and killed a black man on his largely ungated farm. The first shooting did not come to trial, prompting protests from local people who said there had been high-level government intervention in the case. Grievances raised by the case reach far beyond the Cholmondeley family. Some Kenyans resent all white farmers as symbols of the British who stole land from local tribes in colonial times.