Panaji: The Bombay High Court at Goa has sentenced Samson D’Souza to ten years of rigorous imprisonment in connection with the murder of British teenager Scarlett Keeling. Keeling was found dead on Anjuna beach in February 2008.
The court also acquitted another accused, Placido Carvalho. On Wednesday, the high court convicted D’Souza under IPC sections 328 (for administrating drugs), 354 (outraging woman’s modesty), 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and for child abuse under section 8(2) of the Goa Children’s Act.
As many as 31 witnesses were interrogated in the case, including Keeling’s mother Fiona.
Initially, the state police had taken charge of the investigation and said that Keeling had drowned because she was drunk. The probe was handed over to the CBI after repeated requests by Keeling’s family. The CBI filed a charge sheet in 2010. The second autopsy indicated that Keeling was killed and may have been raped too.
The investigative agency had said D’Souza had sexually abused the girl and left her to die, while Carvalho had provided narcotics to her that day.
Earlier, a court had acquitted both D’Souza and Carvalho. The CBI challenged the judgment and appealed in 2017.
Scarlett was found dead with bruises on her body on February 18, 2008. D’Souza and Placido Carvalho were accused of leaving her to die after drugging and sexually abusing her. The 15-year-old from Bideford in Devon was on a six-month “trip of a lifetime” to India with her family when she died.
Fiona told the BBC she was happy D’Souza had been sentenced to “rigorous imprisonment”. “I just hope he stays inside for that long,” she was reported as having said.