India

Mother of Scarlett Keeling accused for negligence

29 Sep 2016 | By Mansi Motwani
The Death of Scarlett Keeling

Fiona MacKeown, mother of British teenager Scarlett Keeling, blamed investigation agencies and the judicial system of being inconsiderate in acquitting two men for the 2008 rape-murder of her daughter.

Pravin Naik, advocate of the accused, plans to act against Fiona "for being negligent towards her duty."

According to him, the mother of the deceased was negligent with her daughter's (a minor) custody.

In context: The Death of Scarlett Keeling

What happened?The story of Scarlett Keeling

In the year 2008, British teenager Scarlett Keeling was allegedly raped and murdered on Anjuna beach in Goa.

Samson D'Souza and Placido Carvalho were accused of culpable homicide, sexual assault, and causing injury/death through supplying drugs and destroying evidence.

Scarlett was last seen alive at a Valentine's Day Party in February 2008.

Her dead body was found face down in the waves.

BackgroundHow she got there

With her mother, mother's boyfriend and her siblings, Keeling was on a six-month family holiday in India.

While her family planned to travel downwards to the south, Scarlett wanted to stay back in Anjuna, Goa.

Her mother left her in the custody of a Julio Lobo, a local tour guide running boat trips spotting dolphins, crocodiles and elephants; Lobo was 25 years old.

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Preliminary investigation

InvestigationPreliminary investigation

The first autopsy carried out on Scarlett's body showed accidental drowning as a cause of her death.

The pathologist who carried out the autopsy claimed to have "verbally expressed the possibility of homicidal drowning," only to be dismissed by a police inspector.

Scarlett's mother Fiona MacKeown and her advocate, Vikram Verma filed a First Information Report on 28th February, 2016.

The perpetrators

Samson D'Souza was a 30-year old bartender at the fated Luis' Shack and Placido Carvalho, aged 42, was allegedly blamed for plying Scarlett with cocaine.

Turn OverTransfer of the case to the CBI

On 22nd March, 2016, the second autopsy recommended that the case investigators consider homicide.

Samson D'Souza was arrested for he was the last person to be seen with Keeling along with Placido Carvalho.

The case was transferred to India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 5th June, 2008.

According to MacKeown's lawyer, "A substantial amount of evidence was destroyed due to delay in transferring."

HearingsDifficulties during the trial

Due to the minor age of Scarlett Keeling (she was 15), D'Souza and Carvalho were addressed in a Children's Court.

Due to backlog of cases, Scarlett's case was heard only once a month.

The judges hearing this case too, frequently changed due to the expiry of their term limit.

Michael Mannion, the only eye-witness that spotted Scarlett with D'Souza, refused to provide evidence.

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What Michael Mannion had seen

According to British eye-witness Michael Mannion, "In the light of the front beam of his scooter, I saw Samson D'Souza on top of Scarlett. I was in a complete state of total panic, shock. I got my bike and I rode off."

23 Sep 2016Accused cleared of all charges

Samson D'Souza and Placido Carvalho were acquitted of all charges in the Scarlett Keeling's death case.

Keeling's mother, MacKeown said, "I just feel really let down by the system. I just don't have faith in it anymore."

Hoping that an appeal would be made to a higher jurisdiction, Goa CM Laxmikant Parsekar said, "It has broken my heart as well."

29 Sep 2016Mother of Scarlett Keeling accused for negligence