Scarlett Keeling: Beach shack worker gets 10-year jail

Scarlett Keeling: Beach shack worker gets 10-year jail

Samson D'Souza. AFP file photo

Eleven years after the sensational sexual assault and death of 15-year-old British teenager Scarlett Keeling on a Goa beach, the Bombay High Court bench here on Friday sentenced one of the accused Samson D’Souza to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. 

The sentence came in wake of requests to the division bench comprising of Justices RD. Dhanuka and Prithviraj Chavan, from the defence counsel for leniency, on grounds that D’Souza has no criminal record and he has a 12-year-old child and is the family’s sole breadwinner. 

In their order, the division bench also awarded Rs. 2.60 lakh as compensation for the deceased Scarlett’s mother Fiona MacKeown for the trauma which she had to suffer on account of her daughter’s death. 

The compensation amount would be accrued from the fine which has been imposed on D’Souza by the Court. Another accused in the case Placido Carvalho, also be a beach shack hand, who was working at a shack at Anjuna beach has been acquitted for lack of evidence. 

Earlier today, while the Central Bureau of Investigation counsel Ejaz Khan sought maximum penalty for the accused and compensation for Mackeown, Defence lawyer Shailendra Bhobe prayed for leniency claiming Samson was trying to turn a new lease of life and was his family’s sole breadwinner. 

“In this case the victim will mean the victim’s mother. She has had to run from pillar to post besides suffer trauma and severe pain in a foreign land,” Khan told the bench on Friday. He also said that maximum punishment was also warranted in order to send a message in a tourist state like Goa, that such crimes would not be tolerated. 

D’Souza’s lawyer had however argued, that he had no criminal antecedents and that he had co-operated with the trial at every stage over the last 11 years. 

“Samson has a wife and a child, who is now 12-years-old and school-going and D’Souza is the only earning member of his family and he should be given a chance to reform himself,” Defence counsel Shailendra Bhobe had said.