British lawyer threatened with jail following dispute over dead client’s estate

Guy Spencer Elms
British lawyer Guy Spencer Elms.

The Daily Mail have reported that a British lawyer in Kenya was held at gunpoint and has been threatened with prison over a dispute concerning a six-acre plot of land valued at $6 million which was previously owned by his dead client.

According to the article, Guy Elms, a 52-year-old British expat, had drawn up a will for the late Roger Bryan Robson, owner of the Nairobi property who died on 8 August 2012.

Mr Robson was born in colonial-era Kenya and never married or had any children. With no dependents to provide for, his will stated the proceeds from the estate should be shared between the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Kenya Forest Service and an education charity.

However, problems began before he passed away. He claimed groups of squatters were trying to take his land, but Mr Elms said he dismissed his client’s concerns as ‘far-fetched’.

After being beaten twice and even shot in the head in 1992, Mr Robson placed power of attorney with Mr Elms in 2010.

Soon after he passed away, businesswoman Agnes Mugure claimed she had bought the house in Karen for Ksh 100 million in cash and subsequently occupied the property.

A huge wall around the edge of the land was erected a year later, and when Mr Elms went to the edge of the land he says he was threatened by men occupying the house. On another occasion, he says he was held at gunpoint with his wife while five men ransacked their home.

The Daily Mail reports that experts who compared the signatures used on the documents claiming ownership of the land in March 2015 noted Mr Robson’s name was spelt wrong in one form and that whoever filled it in had a ‘higher pen speed’ than the 71-year-old.

Roger Robson
Roger Robson in 1999.

However, it is Mr Elms who is facing charges of forging a will, forging a power of attorney, two counts of giving a ‘false utterance’ regarding the first two charges and one count of demanding property with a forged instrument.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) claimed in a charge sheet it has prepared for the prosecution that Mr Elms planned to transfer the property to himself and that the lawyer had started lining up a buyer to purchase it for Ksh70 million at the time investigations started.

But according to the Mail, in his February 2017 report, Antipas Nyanjwa, deputy director of investigations and forensic services at the National Land Commission said that Mr Elms was, ‘a victim of the criminal gangs and land cartels’ and had been targeted by a ‘criminal investigation for non-existent crimes and malicious prosecution in trumped up charges’.

The next court date is expected to be later this month, but these hearings regularly last just 15 minutes to 20 minutes before being put off until another date, leaving much of the legal matters unresolved.

To read the full story, please visit the Daily Mail website.

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