With just one day left for the verdict in the eight-year-old Scarlett Keeling death case, the victim girl’s mother is hopeful of getting the justice for her daughter. Her death made headlines worldwide, drawing attention to the dark side of a tourist destination that has long been a hangout for Western hippies and later highlighting country’s sluggish justice system. Fifteen-year-old Keeling’s bruised and half-naked body was found on popular Anjuna beach eight years ago. A court in Goa will finally deliver a verdict on Friday on two men over the rape and murder of British schoolgirl Scarlett Keeling in 2008 after years of delay and controversy. Read the complete report here.
According to the sources, she had been at a Valentine’s Day beach party and a post-mortem showed there were ecstasy, cocaine and LSD in her system. Following a police investigation two local men, Samson D’Souza, 30, and Placido Carvalho, 42, were charged with causing her death. It is alleged they plied her with drugs, raped her and left her unconscious on the beach where she subsequently drowned.
Police initially dismissed the teenager’s death as an accident but opened a murder probe after Keeling’s mother, Fiona MacKeown, pushed for a second autopsy which proved she had been drugged and raped. MacKeown also accused local authorities of trying to cover up the death to protect drug gangs operating in Goa.
Her family who were on a holiday with her at that time believes she was murdered and the charges should reflect this. They have also said they are not sure what the outcome of the trial will be.
Police allege D’Souza and Carvalho plied Keeling with a cocktail of drink and illegal drugs, including cocaine, before sexually assaulting her and leaving her to die by dumping her unconscious in shallow water where she drowned.
The trial began at a Children’s court at Panaji in 2010 but has been plagued by numerous delays, including infrequent hearing due to a backlog of cases and a public prosecutor withdrawing from proceedings.
According to the sources, her mother Fiona Mackeown said, “If they deliver a not guilty verdict there’ll be something else I can do and I won’t give in. I shall go to the High Court in Bombay or whatever it takes.” Adding to that she also said that Scarlett didn’t die accidently; she was murdered, so somebody should pay for it.