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January 19, 2019

Tom Cholmondeley family plans private funeral after autopsy

Thomas Cholmondeley (L), the son of the 5th Lord Delamere and one of Kenya's largest landowners, is escorted out of the high court by Kenya police after a hearing of his murder trial in the capital Nairobi, February 6, 2007. /REUTERS
Thomas Cholmondeley (L), the son of the 5th Lord Delamere and one of Kenya's largest landowners, is escorted out of the high court by Kenya police after a hearing of his murder trial in the capital Nairobi, February 6, 2007. /REUTERS

A postmortem for rancher Tom Cholmondeley was carried out at Nairobi Hospital on Thursday afternoon and will be followed by a private funeral.

The examination was carried out after MP Shah Hospital released the body of the aristocrat who died on Wednesday after a cardiac arrest during surgery on his hip.

The family neither revealed the preliminary results of the postmortem nor specified the funeral date in its statement today.

Read: MP Shah Hospital refuses to release Tom Cholmondeley's body for postmortem

Cholmondeley's friends earlier dismissed rumours that he suffered cardiac arrest because he had been in poor health.

“Rumours about a heart condition or murmur are not responsible. He was checked thoroughly and had a cardiogram before going for the operation. His heart rate was steady throughout,” said a close friend.

“As they were closing the wound, problems started so maybe it was something to do with the bonding cement."

A recent NHS survey warned that chemicals in the cement used in hip operations had caused multiple deaths in the UK since 2004.

“Tom has had general anesthetic several times in recent years so that was not the problem. His health was fine,” said the friend.

Cholmondeley slipped and fractured his hip on an overseas trip in 2015. He had one operation to fix the damage; this was a second follow-up operation.

The rancher was born in Kenya on June 19, 1968 to 5th Baron Delamere Hugh Cholmondeley and Anne Willoughby.

He lived on the family’s Soysambu ranch and had two teenage sons named Hugh and Henry.

Cholmondeley was accused twice of murder and served a sentence at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison.

Read: Aristocrat Tom Cholmondeley, accused twice of murder, dies aged 48

But his wife Sally Dudmesh said he was "a man with a great passion for the peoples and country of Kenya".

"He was an impressive man in both stature and character, whose generosity of spirit touched all people who knew him," she said, noting his stewardship of the ranch.

Cholmondeley's father said his son managed land with innovation.

The family noted his dedication to penal reform saying he supported the Kamiti academy and founded the 'Crime Si Poa' initiative with his friend Peter Ouko.

Story updated

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