In Summary
  • Sgnt John Marley from the British Army was said to have died as a result of electrocution.
  • Chief Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo said that evidence by the county electrical engineer was unhelpful in determining the state of the switch.
  • The court said the post-mortem report was never provided and the cause of death remains inconclusive.
  • Ms Mulekyo ordered that sureties be discharged and all securities or cash deposited be returned to the accused.

A Kwale court has absolved a German and Italian national of negligence charges that resulted to the death of British soldier in Diani in April 2012.

Diani Marine Divers Villas CEO and proprietor Thomas Sollacher and his former diving instructor Eduardo Vasta were acquitted by Kwale Chief Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo.

“On diverse dates between the 24th and 26th of April at Diani Marine Villa in Diani, Kwale County, the CEO unlawfully neglected to maintain and repair a bedside lamp in room number 9, which was your duty. By which this omission caused the death of Sgt John James Marley," read the charge.

While giving an abridged version if the ruling, the magistrate said that there were 15 witnesses in the case.

"A total of 15 witnesses testified. In summary the court is called [upon] to determine whether the accused persons owed the deceased a duty of care, whether there was a breach of that duty and finally whether as a result of that breach the deceased suffered the fatal injuries," Ms Mulekyo said in her ruling.


The magistrate said that it was not disputed that the first accused person was the owner of the premises where the deceased died from.

“The evidence of the role of the second accused was, however, inconclusive, with prosecution witnesses contradicting each other,” she said.

Ms Mulekyo added that the in his defence, Mr Sollacher completely absolved Eduardo Vasta from any responsibilities.

She said the court held that the second accused did not owe the deceased any duty or care that would have rendered him culpable.

"Having established this, the prosecution was to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Schollacer was in breach of this duty.

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