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Scarlett Keeling's Goa killer jailed for 10 years as mother welcomes 'closure' after long wait for justice

Published by Yahoo on Sun, 21 Jul 2019

A Indian former bartender was sentenced on Friday to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting and killing British teenager Scarlett Keeling on a beach in Goa in 2008. Scarlett's mother, Fiona MacKeown, 55, said she felt 'relieved' and it was a 'kind of closure' after waiting 11 years for justice. The Bombay High Court at Goa sentenced Samson D'Souza, 39, after convicting him on Wednesday of administering drugs to 15-year-old Scarlett, sexual assault, culpable homicide and destruction of evidence. He had previously been acquitted of the crime along another man. Scarlett's body was found on Anjuna beach in Goa in February 2008. At the time D'Souza was a 28-year-old bartender at Luis' Shack, but he has since become a scuba diving instructor. Local police initially said Scarlett Keeling had drowned accidentally after taking drugs but her mother pushed for a second autopsy which revealed she had been raped and murdered Credit: Reuters 'It is rigorous imprisonment which is what I really wanted. I think it means he has to do eight hours' hard labour a day. He should have been given life because he took her life,' Miss Mackeown told The Telegraph from her home near Bideford in Devon. 'I don't know if he will stay in prison that long. I am aware he can appeal.' On Wednesday night she celebrated D'Souza's conviction with two bottles of champagne surrounded by her seven children. Her eldest son killed himself with an overdose in 2016. 'He never got over Scarlett dying,' she said. 'I am starting to feel relieved this could be the end of it. I never knew anything would come of it. To have a result is good. I am glad he is going to suffer a bit as we have done,' she said. Police initially dismissed the teenager'sdeath as an accidental drowning but opened a murder investigation after her mother pushed for a second autopsy which proved she had been drugged and raped. The case was taken over by federal police who accused D'Souza and the second man of plying Scarlett with a cocktail of drink and illegal drugs, including cocaine, before leaving her to die by dumping her unconscious in shallow water where she drowned. Samson D'Souza had previously been acquitted of the crime along with another man Credit: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP Scarlett's mother still wants to know the full truth about her death. 'He gave her LSD, cocaine and ecstasy and tried to have sex with her, then pushed her face in the water. But I don't know exactly what happened and my final request is to know: why did he end up killing her'' Miss MacKeown, who milks cows for a living, has racked up thousands of pounds in credit card debt travelling back and forth to India for the court cases. 'I wanted to go for the sentencing but I did not have enough notice. There are only two buses a day where I live. Whilst this is good news, it does not take away the fact the Goa police are so corrupt and are not investigating these crimes properly. There are many other families whose relatives have been killed on holiday in Goa still fighting for justice.' Several other foreigners have been murdered in Goa over the past decade. In March 2017, the naked body of a 28-year-old Irish woman was found dumped near a tourist hotspot, and a local guide was later arrested for her rape and murder.
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