Convict in Scarlett Keeling case sentenced to 10-yr jail

The former beach shack worker was convicted of culpable homicide for the 2008 death of British teenager Scarlett Keeling, whom he drugged and sexually assaulted before leaving her to die.
Samson D'Souza, accused in the Scarlett Keeling murder case, leaves surrounded by policemen after being sentenced to ten year imprisonment by the Bombay High Court in Goa on July 19, 2019. - An Indian court on July 19 sent a bartender to jail for 10 years over the sexual assault and killing of British schoolgirl Scarlett Keeling on a Goa beach in 2008.(AFP)
Samson D'Souza, accused in the Scarlett Keeling murder case, leaves surrounded by policemen after being sentenced to ten year imprisonment by the Bombay High Court in Goa on July 19, 2019. - An Indian court on July 19 sent a bartender to jail for 10 years over the sexual assault and killing of British schoolgirl Scarlett Keeling on a Goa beach in 2008.(AFP)
Published on Jul 20, 2019 01:55 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Panaji | ByHT Correspondent

The High Court of Bombay at Goa on Friday sentenced Samson D’Souza to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment and fined him Rs. 2.6 lakh, two days after convicting the former beach shack worker of culpable homicide for the 2008 death of British teenager Scarlett Keeling, whom he drugged and sexually assaulted before leaving her to die on the Anjuna beach.

D’Souza, 39, was sentenced 10 years for drugging Keeling, 10 years for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, five years for sexually assaulting, three years for abuse of a child, and two years for destruction of evidence.The sentences will run concurrently.

The court also fined D’Souza a cumulative amount of Rs. 2.6 lakh for the five offences which will be used to compensate the mother of Keeling, who was 15 years and 8 months old at the time of her death.

Scarlett’s semi-naked, lifeless body was found lying on the sands of Anjuna beach at 6.30 am on February 17, 2008. Barely two hours earlier she had been seen in the company of Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho

The court found D’Souza, 39, guilty on five counts — culpable homicide not amounting to murder, sexual assault, administering a stupefying substance (drugging), abusing a child and causing the disappearance of evidence. Carvalho, charged with abetting thee offences, was found not guilty and acquitted. In September 2016, a trial court acquitted both D’Souza and Carvalho, giving them the benefit of doubt, citing the lack of conclusive evidence and lapses on the part of the prosecution. On Friday, prosecutor Ejaz Khan sought a maximum sentence that would serve as a deterrence to other criminals.

“In addition to seeking very severe punishment, I seek that the victim may be compensated adequately. In this case the victim will mean the victim’s mother...,” Khan argued.

“He has been convicted of each charge including grave sexual assault. Goa is a state of tourist importance and it is important to send a message that we do not tolerate such kind of crimes. I seek maximum punishment under the law,” he said. Advocate Shailendra Bhobe, who appeared on behalf of the convict, sought leniency on the grounds that D’Souza had no criminal antecedents and he was the sole breadwinner of his family.

Scarlett’s mother Fiona Mackeown said on the phone from the UK that she hoped the verdict would finally help her find closure.

“Yes we are all very happy. It has been so long that it is taking some time for all of it to sink in. We didn’t know it would ever come to this,” she said.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022