2008 Goa murder of British teen: Court acquits both the accused Mumbai-born man sent to jail in US gang-rape case
Two local men accused of drugging, sexually abusing and leaving British teenage girl Scarlett Eden Keeling to die on Goa’s popular Anjuna beach in 2008 were on Friday let off by a children’s court here.
Goa Children’s Court judge Vandana Tendulkar acquitted Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho of all the charges in the eight-year-long high profile death case.
Carvalho and Samson had been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, sexual abuse and drugging.
The verdict was announced in a jam packed court hall.
Scarlett’s mother Fiona Mackeown expressed shock at the verdict. “I am shocked. I was not expecting acquittal. I was expecting conviction. I will challenge the order,” Fiona told reporters outside the court hall here.
After her daughter’s body was found, Fiona had lived in Anjuna for a couple of weeks trying to piece together the evidence in the case. She flew down to Goa from Davon (United Kingdom) to be present in the court for the final verdict.
“It took a huge effort for me to even get the police to register a complaint [in the case],” she said recalling her struggle to get justice for her 15-year-old daughter.
She alleged she knew that the Goa police was not interested to prosecute the killers.
Cecil Burrows came to the US when he was 12, and lonely and isolated he fell in with a gang of criminals, setting off on a road that would take him to jail and eventually, when he is out, back to Mumbai, where he was born.
Burrows, 23 was sentenced to 18 months in jail by a court in Montgomery, a county in Maryland abutting Washington DC, for his role in the gang-rape of a nearly comatose woman in a townhouse nearly four years ago in 2012.
He had played the role of a “coach”, issuing instructions.
“Hold her down,” he was heard saying in a 35-minute audio recording played in the court, according to The Washington Post, on Thursday,
“Cecil, he like a coach,” said one of the assailants.
Burrows had recorded the assault, which had taken place at his house. But his role would be discovered two years later, when one of the convicted men gave him away, telling detectives he was at home then and not away.
Burrows had told police earlier he had stepped out to get beer when the woman, who was either drunk or had been drugged, was assaulted.
The recording, only audio, was found on his computer.