Samson D'Souza, a beach shack worker who was convicted for the rape and murder of British teen Scarlett Keeling, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail. Scarlett, who was 15 at the time of the incident in 2008, was brutally raped and murdered by D'Souza on a tourist beach in Goa. Her body, bearing over 50 injuries was found at Anjuna beach in Goa on February 18, 2008. Since then, her mother Fiona Mackeown was fighting for justice for her daughter.
On Wednesday, the Bombay High Court had found D'Souza guilty of rape and murder of the British teen, overturning his acquittal by a trial court in Goa. The High Court had 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.
Two locals, Samson D'Souza and Placido Carvalho, were accused of leaving her to die after drugging and sexually abusing her. In 2016, the Goa Children's Court had acquitted them both of all the charges. Scarlett’s mother, who said, was devasted after the verdcit had moved the High Court against their acquittal.
“I am devastated, I am shocked,” said Fiona, who waited for long for the verdict in the case as the trial dragged on for years due to several reasons, including withdrawal of the initial prosecutor and failure to get the deposition of a key witness from abroad.
The case, initially investigated by Goa Police, was handed over to the CBI by the state government after Scarlett's mother, raised doubts about the investigations. The police had initially dismissed it as a case of drowning, but later registered it as culpable homicide, after Fiona pressed for a second autopsy, which found that the girl was drugged and raped.
(With inputs from agencies)