Saturday 17 August 2019

Man jailed for 10 years over Scarlett Keeling’s death on Goa beach

Samson D’Souza was sentenced for culpable homicide.

Scarlett Keeling, 15, was found dead on a beach in Goa (Family/PA)
Scarlett Keeling, 15, was found dead on a beach in Goa (Family/PA)

By Associated Press Reporter

A man has been jailed for 10 years over the drugging and death of a 15-year-old British girl whose body was found on a beach in the Indian city of Goa in 2008.

Judges at Mumbai High Court handed Samson D’Souza the sentence for culpable homicide, days after overturning his acquittal last year over the attack on Scarlett Keeling.

The high court upheld the lower court’s acquittal of another suspect.

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Fiona MacKeown’s lawyer said he was happy with the sentence (Ben Birchall/PA)

Vikram Varma, a lawyer representing Scarlett’s mother Fiona MacKeown, said he was happy with the court’s decision.

It has taken a lot of time but justice has been done, he said.

The teenager’s death caused outrage among the millions of tourists who throng Goa’s beaches.

Police originally said Scarlett had drowned after taking drugs but changed their story after her mother complained. D’Souza’s sentencing comes after an 11-year battle for justice by her mother.

A trial court acquitted both of the accused in 2016, saying there was not enough evidence to convict them.

The High Court took up the case in 2017 after an appeal by the Central Bureau of Investigation, India’s FBI.

Under Indian laws, both the accused and prosecutors can appeal against a trial court’s verdict to the High Court and the Supreme Court.

D’Souza and prosecutors can still appeal against his sentence to the Supreme Court, and prosecutors can still appeal against the acquittal of the second suspect as well.

PA Media

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