Scarlett Keeling murder: Want to see D'souza's reaction when court sentences him, says Fiona
Scarlett Keeling's mother Fiona tells mid-day she will try to travel to Goa to be there when a court reads out the sentence for her daughter's killer
Soon after the HC of Bombay at Goa convicted the main accused in the Scarlett Keeling murder case — Samson D'souza — on Wednesday, Fiona Mckeown said, "I want to look D'Souza in the eye and see his reaction when the court pronounces his sentence on Friday. I am trying to travel to India so that I can be in the courtroom with advocate Vikram Varma, who has worked really hard to bring us justice." However, the division bench acquitted the other accused Placido Carvalho.
Speaking to mid-day from Bradworthy, North Devon UK, Scarlett's mother Fiona said, "We are extremely happy with the verdict. Maybe now we can move on with our lives. I will celebrate the judgment with my children, who are visiting me." She further said, "I could not sleep last night thinking about the verdict. All these years have been traumatic for my children. They get worried every time I visit Goa. Whenever I see Scarlett's friends, I wonder what she would have been doing now. It will be a relief if this case is over."
"I was worried about what would happen if the HC upheld the verdict of the lower court, which had acquitted the accused. But the verdict shows that the HC found sufficient evidence to nail the accused," she added.
When asked about the acquittal of Carvalho, Fiona said, "We knew from the beginning that D'Souza was the main accused. But I will discuss the role of the other accused with my lawyer on my visit to India."
Speaking about the crowd-funding initiative she had started, Fiona said, "Since HC has found sufficient evidence to convict the main accused, I don't need to think about it anymore. I won't have to put up that page again."
Samson D'Souza and Placido Carvalho. Illustration /Uday Mohite
"Apart from working on three farms, I also milk cows and earn a total of 1,000 pounds. I have sufficient money to come to India, though it will take me eight hours to reach London from my hometown. Still I will look for the availability of flights so that I can be in Goa on time. I do not wish to miss the sentencing," she said.
When asked what's next in the case, Special Public Prosecutor Ejaz Khan said, "The conviction of the main accused is a result of the hardwork of senior CBI officers and the investigation team, which collected admissible evidence in the case. Once we get the judgment copy, we will go through it and decide on the next course of action."
Speaking to mid-day, Vikram Varma, counsel for Fiona said, "Today's verdict confirms our stand. In 2008 we were clear that Scarlett was given drugs, sexually abused and killed. Despite having on-record evidence, it was a major setback to see the trial court acquitting the accused in 2017."
D'Souza has been pronounced guilty under sections 304(2)(culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence), 201 (destruction of evidence) of IPC and section 8 (2) of Goa's Children Act.
When asked if he could speak to Fiona post the verdict, the lawyer said, "Fiona is very happy. She said she is trying to come to Goa to be present in court on Friday when the sentence will be pronounced."
He further said, "The truth had got buried under 11 years of trial, and it took us and the CBI a lot of effort to dig that out. We are fortunate to have some of India's best legal minds at the bench of the Bombay HC, and despite thousands of pages of evidence of the trial courts, they could extract the truth."
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