Trial in case of British woman raped, killed in Goa begins

Apr 06, 2018, 20:41 IST | PTI

The trial began this afternoon before the District and Sessions Judge in Margao, Sayonara Telles, with the deposition of Prashant Komarpant

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The trial in the rape and killing of British national Danielle McLaughlin began today with a South Goa court examining the first witness in the case. The 28-year-old Briton, holidaying in Goa, was found dead at an isolated stretch between the Agonda and Canacona beaches in South Goa on March 14, 2017. Vikat Bhagat (23), who was last seen with the victim and who the police claimed had previous cases against him, was arrested under the sections of the IPC relating to murder, rape, theft and destruction of evidence.

The trial began this afternoon before the District and Sessions Judge in Margao, Sayonara Telles, with the deposition of Prashant Komarpant. "He was the person who saw the body of the deceased for the first time at an isolated spot and informed the police," Vikram Varma, the lawyer representing Andrea Branningan, the mother of the deceased, told PTI.

Varma is assisting Assistant Public Prosecutor D J Costa in the case. Komarpant was cross-examined by defence lawyer A Moniz, Varma informed. Komarpant told the court that he had been taking the same route, where the victim's body was found, regularly. According to the chargesheet, Bhagat had tried to force himself on the woman at an isolated place between the Canacona and Agonda beaches.

When she resisted, he had hit her on the head with a beer bottle, raped and then strangulated her, the chargesheet states. It adds that the accused then smashed the victim's face with a stone to destroy evidence. The police examined 68 witnesses in connection with the case. The case will be heard again on April 13.

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