Two acquitted in UK teen’s murder

Scarlett Keeling

Two beach workers acquitted in UK teen’s murder in Goa….reports Asian Lite News

Scarlett Keeling
Scarlett Keeling

Two beach shack workers who were accused of sexually assaulting and killing 15-year-old UK teenager Scarlett Keeling on a Goa beach in 2008 were acquitted by a trial court here on Friday. Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho were acquitted by the Goa Children’s Court president Vandana Tendulkar at the end of a trial which lasted for eight years.

They were accused of sexually assaulting Keeling and leaving her to die, with a cocktail of drugs pumped in her adolescent body, at North Goa’s popular Anjuna beach.

The death of Keeling put the spotlight on the issue of safety of the state’s beaches, which attracts nearly four million tourists every year.

“I am devastated. The Indian judicial system has totally let me down,” said Scarlett’s mother, Fiona MacKeown, who came to Goa hoping her daughter would finally get justice. “My daughter was murdered. Someone should be held responsible.”

Before the verdict, Ms MacKeown had told reporters: “It has been long time of waiting. Waiting for this day. I am nervous and hope that the struggle and wait will end.” The case was first investigated by the Goa police and was dismissed as a suicide but it was later handed over to the CBI, which eventually filed a charge-sheet against the two accused.

Scarlett’s bruised and partially clothed body was found on Anjuna beach in February 2008. She had been at a Valentine’s Day beach party while the rest of her family had gone travelling. A post-mortem examination found a cocktail of drugs in her system and she suffered 50 separate injuries in the attack, the court has previously heard.