Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Scarlett's mother to give evidence

The mother of murdered British teenager Scarlett Keeling is to relive the events surrounding her daughter's death as she gives evidence at an Indian court.

Fiona MacKeown, 44, will appear at the trial of two men accused of raping and killing the 15-year-old on a beach in Goa.

She was summoned to the children's court - in the same region in which her daughter's died - after fighting for a full investigation when police initially suggested Scarlett accidentally drowned.

Ms MacKeown faced allegations of negligence for leaving her young daughter alone while she went travelling to the neighbouring state of Karnataka. The bruised body of Scarlett, from Bideford, Devon, was found on the beach in February 2008 during her holiday to the country with her family.

The trial of accused Samson D'Souza, 30, and Placido Carvalho, 42, has faced extensive delays. Counsel to the Central Bureau of Investigation, S R Rivonkar, said he expected it to be complete by the end of the year.

The duo, charged with culpable homicide, sexual assault, outraging modesty and destroying evidence, were arrested a month after Scarlett's death.

D'Souza and Carvalho, who are both on bail, deny the charges.

The lengthly trial is hearing from more than 70 witnesses, including Ms MacKeown and Scarlett's Indian boyfriend Julio Lobo.

Ms MacKeown battled with local authorities, insisting her daughter's death was the result of a violent attack and not simply a case of drowning. Her campaign eventually forced a second post-mortem examination to be carried out in early March 2008 and evidence from the first was also re-examined. The results revealed Scarlett was attacked and raped. Toxicology tests also showed she had taken ecstasy, cocaine and LSD on the night she died.

Soon after the second post-mortem, local bartender D'Souza was arrested on suspicion of rape and murder. Two days later, Carvalho was also arrested in connection with the case.


From Belfast Telegraph