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'Her mother knew about Scarlett's drinking habit'

Julio Lobo, the boyfriend of the slain British girl, launches a stinging attack on her mother Fiona MacKeown.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2008 16:26 IST

Julio Lobo, the boyfriend of the slain British teenager, has launched a stinging attack on the teenager's mother Fiona MacKeown, saying she was well aware of Scarlett's heavy drinking habit.

According to a report published in the Mail today, Julio said: "Scarlett had a drinking habit. She used to drink vodka, beer and tequila, sometimes in large amounts, and her mother knew this.

"I guessed that she was also taking drugs though I never saw her doing that."

The report said Julio's testimony is in direct contradiction to MacKeown's assertions that her teenage daughter was "not a drinker."

Julio, who is not under suspicion of involvement with Scarlett's death, said police had interrogated him. "This is such a confusing time for me."

"Scarlett has been murdered. I feel I did everything I could to help her but now I am being accused of failing her. I feel like I am being blamed by Scarlett's family for not looking after her but she did what she wanted to do.

MacKeown should have done more to look after Scarlett. She could have done much more to protect her," he said.
Julio said MacKeown left Scarlett in Goa with no money, and that Scarlett herself boasted that she was capable of looking after herself.

About his relation with Scarlett, Julio said: "I wouldn't want to use the word "love" any more, but I really cared for her."

Julio said: "A lot of wrong things are being said by her mother. She was happy with Scarlett and me being in the same room."

The last time Julio saw Scarlett alive was when he dropped her at a vegetarian restaurant in Anjuna called 'Bean Me Up' on February 17.

"She was due to meet the rest of her family in Gokarna in Karnataka the following day and said she wanted to spend time with her friend Ruby, whose family run the restaurant," Julio said.

Scarlett and Ruby went out, and returned to the restaurant at 1.30 am, when they appeared under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he said.

Ruby went to bed, and Scarlett was next seen about two hours later in Lui's bar on Anjuna beach, again in "an intoxicated state," according to witnesses.

A Briton, Michael Mannion, who was at the bar, said Scarlett told him she had taken three drops of LSD, two ecstasy pills and cocaine.

Julio said: "She said she'd call me when she was ready to be picked up. When I didn't hear from her, I went to look for her but I could not find her. I was worried sick. There was no sign of her."

"I went out on my bike asking people in the beach shacks. Later, I was told a body had been found though no one knew anything more. Then, I was told the body was of Scarlett's," he said.

"I couldn't believe it. I had seen her alive and in great form the evening before. I was then faced with having to make the worst call of my life.

"I sent her mother a text saying there had been a terrible accident. She called me back and I had to tell her that her daughter was dead. Fiona was beside herself," he said.

Police initially dismissed Scarlett's death as an accidental drowning, but MacKeown insisted it was more sinister. A murder investigation was opened after a second post-mortem found 50 abrasions on her body.

A toxicology report, published recently, revealed that Scarlett had consumed a cocktail of drugs and alcohol before her death.

But Pathologists at Goa Medical college said on Saturday that Scarlett died after her head was forcibly held under water.