Panaji: The Bombay High Court on Friday sentenced beach shack worker Samson D'Souza to ten years' rigorous imprisonment in the 2008 British teenager Scarlett Eden Keeling death case.
Scarlett's semi-naked, lifeless body was found lying on the sands of Anjuna beach at 6.30 am on February 17, 2008.
Mumbai High Court Justices R D Dhanuka and Prithviraj Chavan handed Samson D'Souza the sentence for culpable homicide on Friday, days after overturning his acquittal past year in the attack on Scarlett Keeling. The HC upheld the judgement of the lower court, acquitting the other accused Placido Carvalho for abetment of sexual assault.
Prosecutor Ejaz Khan highlighted that Section 8 (II) of the Goa Children's Act, under which D'Souza had been found guilty, had a provision for a life sentence. It was the case of the prosecution that the accused administered keeling cocaine lines, ecstasy tablets and beer, sexually assaulted her and left her near the water line on the beach and then removed his chappals thereby causing disappearance of evidence.
A first post-mortem examination ruled Scarlett died of accidental drowning - but Ms Mackeown pressured Indian authorities to carry out another postmortem, which revealed she was raped and murdered.
A trial court acquitted both of the accused in 2016, saying there was not enough evidence to convict them.
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"In addition to seeking a very severe punishment, I seek that the victim may be compensated adequately".
Defence lawyer Shailendra Bhobe, however, sought leniency from the court, arguing that D'Souza was trying to reform himself. "In this case the victim will mean the victim's mother.", Khan argued.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) prosecutor also sought maximum punishment under law, because Goa being a "state of tourist importance it was important to send a message that such kind of crimes won't be tolerated".
Vikram Varma, a lawyer representing Keeling's mother, Fiona MacKeown, said he was satisfied with the sentencing.
Bhobe further said that D'Souza had "no other criminal record in the past or in the 11 years the trial was in progress or any other blemishes in his record".