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Family’s fight for closure five years after Ben’s death in Kenya

PUBLISHED: 09:40 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:19 09 August 2017

Ben Ryalls

Ben Ryalls


It’s been five years since security worker Ben Ryalls, from Bucks Cross, died suddenly in Kenya, and his family are still searching for answers as to the cause of his death.

The family of a British security worker and ‘loveable rogue’ are still seeking closure five years after his death in Kenya.

Ben Ryalls was 34 when he collapsed and died at the port of Mombasa on July 24, 2012, as he was about to board a 10-week patrol shipping food relief.

At the time of his death, his family, from Bucks Cross, were told he had died of heart failure, but they still do not know what caused this.

A post-mortem was carried out in Kenya after Ben’s death, but the results of toxicology reports have not been released from the hospital in Mombasa.

Without these, an inquest cannot be concluded into the death of the former marine.

“Without these results, we are just left not knowing,” said Denise Ryalls, Ben’s mum.

“What it boils down to, is that our government and our country, which Ben fought for, is not doing enough to find out what happened to him.

“We just want answers.”

Ben left behind a daughter, Emily Anne, now seven, and his family want to know if the cause of his death was a hereditary condition.

They are also concerned it could have been related to a nerve-agent blocker which Ben took while serving in Iraq, or knee surgery he undertook before his trip.

At the time of his death, local reports said two people had been questioned by police, but the family don’t know if this was taken further, or if an investigation is ongoing.

Ben’s sister, Amy, posted on Facebook to appeal to reach ‘the eyes and ears of the right person’, and it has since been shared more than 570 times.

“We have been in contact with every authority we can think of for help but no-one has the answers we need,” she said.

Torridge and West Devon MP, Geoffrey Cox, told the Gazette: “I was deeply saddened when I was approached by the family of Ben Ryalls to look into the circumstances of his death in Mombasa, Kenya.

“I express my deepest sympathies to his family and will continue to offer assistance to them.”

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson confirmed it had provided consular support after the death of a British man.

He said: “We have regularly pressed the Kenyan authorities for documents relating to this case, and will continue to do so, on behalf of his family and HM Coroner.”

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