Lord Monson, 12th Baron Monson of Burton in Lincolnshire, has been hit again with tragedy after losing his second son to suicide following the death of his eldest child in Kenya in 2012.
A year after the peer inherited his title after the unexpected death of his father in 2011, his eldest son Alexander, 28, was mysteriously found dead in Kenya.
Alexander, a former student at Marlborough College died on June 19, 2012 after he was arrested by local police in the coastal resort of Diani. The British graduate, who had lived in Kenya for two years, was held under suspicion of smoking cannabis. However, hours later he died in hospital after suffering serious head injuries.
Kenyan authorities claimed Alexander died of a drug overdose, but a toxicology report revealed no traces of the drug in his system. Lord Monson believed that his son was killed following a serious assault he received in police custody, a claim backed up by medical evidence that he had suffered injuries to his head and genitals.
Last month, the peer was hit by a second tragedy when his only other son, 21-year-old Rupert Green, died in hospital after trying to kill himself at home in Surrey.
Lord Monson has blamed this death on his son’s addiction to ‘skunk’, which is a strong type of cannabis, which made him introverted and prone to outbursts.
Speaking to The Sunday Times the peer said: “After Alexander I thought I had another son who would blossom and fulfil his dreams. Now he’s gone as well. It’s so sad.”
“I am probably the only person who now has two inquests running into the deaths of two children,” he added.
Rupert was the child of Monson and Kate Green. The couple met after he split from his first wife in 1990. However, their relationship didn’t last and Monson remained estranged from Rupert until he became a teenager.
We are in a war now — a war against skunk,’ but said the way to wage this war is to legalise cannabis.
Monson has said he believes his son would not have taken the more potent version of the drug if regular cannabis was legal, adding that the drug has huge impact on his son’s wellbeing. Shortly before his death he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
“Once someone has become psychotic on skunk, they often never come back.
“In his last six months there was a nice Rupert and not-so-nice Rupert and from day to day you never knew which one you would encounter.
“In his younger days, Rupert was very different, ‘sporty, congenial and very popular. Also, like his brother Alexander, he was a wonderfully talented artist.” – Lord Monson
In addition to campaigning for the legalisation of cannabis, Monson also wants to see the end of primogeniture. This is the right, by law or custom, of the legitimate, firstborn son to inherit his parent’s entire or main estate, in preference to daughters, elder illegitimate sons, younger sons and collateral relatives. Currently, his 29-year-old daughter, Isabella, cannot legally inherit his title so it will instead pass to his younger brother Andrew.