MUMBAI: The Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday, 19 July, sentenced Samson D’Souza to 10 years of imprisonment on Wednesday in the 2008 rape and murder case of British teenager Scarlett Keeling.
According to a PTI report, the HC had, on Wednesday, 17 July, convicted one of the two accused, Samson D’Souza, and acquitted Placido Carvalho.
The High Court convicted D’Souza under IPC sections 328 (for administering drugs), 354 (outraging woman’s modesty), 304 (culpable homicide not amounting murder), and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and for child abuse under section 8(2) of the Goa Children’s Act.
The verdict came two years after a lower court’s judgment, which had acquitted the two accused due to “lack of evidence.” The 2016 verdict was subsequently challenged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
WHAT HAD HAPPENED
On 18 February 2008, Keeling was found dead on Goa’s Anjuna beach.
The British teen had come to India for a six-month holiday with her mother, Fiona MacKeown, her mother’s boyfriend and seven siblings and half-siblings. According to eyewitnesses, on the night of 17 February, Keeling was spotted at a shack on the beach, inebriated.
According to Murli Sagar, an eyewitness, Keeling was then found with the two accused, Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho, who allegedly forced her to take drugs.
Michael Mannion, a British eyewitness, reported that he watched Keeling leave with Sagar at around 5 am.
I am ‘shocked’ over verdict, says Scarlett’s mother
“I am shocked,” said a visibly distraught Fiona MacKeown, after the Goa court on Friday acquitted two local men accused of drugging and sexually abusing her teenage daughter Scarlett Eden Keeling, who was left to die on the Anjuna beach in the year 2008.
“It was quick and I am shocked. I was not expecting acquittal. I was expecting the conviction. I will challenge the order,” Fiona MacKeown told reporters outside the court hall here after Goa Children’s Court Judge Vandana Tendulkar let off both the accused Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho in the high-profile death case, which dented the image of the popular tourist state globally.
During the initial phase of the investigation, the Goa Police sought to close the case stating her death to be an accidental drowning.
However, after a massive outrage from the public and protest by Scarlett’s mother, Fiona Mackeown, the case was transferred to the CBI.