The Bombay High Court Friday awarded the main culprit Samson D’Souza, who was held guilty in connection with the death of British teenager Scarlett Keeling in Goa in 2008, to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.
D’Souza has been found guilty of culpable homicide, drugging and sexually assaulting Keeling, whose body was found on Anjuna beach in Goa. On Thursday, a bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and Prithviraj Chavan convicted D’Souza under sections 328, 354, 304 (ii), 201 of the Indian Penal Code, and Section 8(II) of the Goa Children’s Act.
The Defence lawyer Shailendra Bhobe started the arguments by pleading that D’Souza is the lone earning member of his family, is a husband and father of a 12-year-old girl.
Rejecting this argument, the Prosecutor Ejaz Khan pointed to the Goa Children’s Act, under which D’Souza was found guilty. While all the IPC sections have a maximum quantum of 10 years, it is only Section 8(II) of Goa Children’s Act which has a provision for life imprisonment, he said. Vikram Verma, an advocate representing Scarlett’s mother, Fiona, pleaded to the court that judgment is very important to Fiona, a “British national who ran from pillar to post and suffered severe pain and hardship in a foreign land”.
Finally, Justices R D Dhanuka and Prithviraj Chavan 10 years of rigorous imprisonment to the main culprit Samson D’Souza.
The murder of Scarlett was a highly controversial case. After finding the half naked dead body of Keeling at Anjuna beach in February 2008, Goa Police initially tried to reject the case as an accidental drowning. But soon after a huge national and international media uproar, the case was handed over to the central probe agency.
But the Goa children’s court in 2016 acquitted Samson D’Souza and Plácido Carvalho in the sexual assault and murder of Scarlett Keeling. The case of Scarlett Keeling came to lime light again after CBI challenged the judgement of the Goa children’s court which in 2016 acquitted Samson D’Souza and Plácido Carvalho in the sexual assault and murder of Scarlett Keeling.
The CBI also filed an appeal against the acquittal of two men from Goa for the rape and murder of British teenager Scarlett Keeling in 2008 in the Goa High Court.
CBI had charged D’Souza and Carvalho, both working at the Curlies’ beach shack, with culpable homicide, sexual assault and drugging the teenager. They were last seen with Keeling before her death.