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One conviction in high profile murder of UK teen in Goa

July 19, 2019

Eleven years after she was found dead on a beach in Goa, the Bombay High Court's Goa bench has convicted a person for the rape and murder of British teenager Scarlett Eden Keeling.

15-year-old Scarlett was found dead with bruises on her body at Anjuna beach in Goa on February 18, 2008. Two locals, Samson D'Souza and Placido Carvalho, were accused of leaving her to die after drugging and sexually abusing her. The Goa Children's Court had acquitted both last year.

The case went for appeal and the high court convicted D'Souza under IPC Sections 328 (for administrating 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 court has upheld the acquittal of Carvalho.

Arguments on the quantum of sentence will be heard today.

The case, initially investigated by Goa Police was handed over to the CBI by the Goa government after Scarlett Keeling's mother, Fiona Mackeown raised doubts about the investigations, saying she was disappointed with the verdict and would appeal and "definitely move to the higher court" against the judgment. The CBI had said that Scarlett was last seen with the two men.

Scarlett was on a six-month-long family vacation when she was killed. Initially, the police said her death was an accident. After her mother pushed for a second autopsy, police found that she had been drugged and raped. The case had made international news and sparked a major debate on drugs and crime in India's tourism industry.

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