Scarlett Keeling rape, murder case: Goa court acquits both accused

Scarlet's mother Fiona MacKeown expressed shock at the verdict and said she will appeal against it.

"I'm devastated. We've been waiting for all this time", she said. All the charges against them have been dropped.

The teenager, from Bideford, Devon, was on a six-month "trip of a lifetime" with her family when she was killed.

A dejected Fiona said that medical evidence appeared to suggest that her daughter had been drugged, raped and murdered, but blamed the local police as well as the CBI for the acquittal of the two accused. A post-mortem revealed she had taken ecstasy, cocaine and LSD.

Over the years, three public prosecutors and five judges have changed in the case. "And all I can say is that if any worldwide tourist comes to Goa and gets murdered, they have no hope for justice in this system", she said.

Panaji: A children's court here on Friday acquitted two beach shack workers accused of drugging, sexually abusing and leaving United Kingdom teenager Scarlett Keeling on a Goa beach in 2008 to die on the shore.

Both the accused are alleged to have plied the girl with drugs, raped her and then left her unconscious, The Guardian reported.

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But Ms MacKeown's lawyer, Vikram Verma, said the criminal justice system had "failed".

She told Sky News: 'It's a parent's worst nightmare, it's bad enough to lose a child to murder without it being dragged out for so long, have the police lie about the whole incident to start with and they tried to rubbish me and Scarlett.

"I had people in Britain saying I should have had my other children taken away, all sorts of frightful comments", Fiona says. "I can only say that if global tourists come to Goa and they are murdered, they cannot hope for justice", said Fiona.

McKeown told CNN she was "totally devastated" by the verdict. "She was really unhappy, a big sulky teenager making my life really hard".

'She played saxophone and she was going to join a band. The detailed order copy is likely to be ready on Monday. She was active and strong and healthy'. In February, the 15-year-old joined her family in Gokarna, but sought to return to Goa for a Valentine's Day party.

Ms MacKeown said that she was not confident of a prosecution for culpable homicide because of a key witness "pulling out at the last minute".

"It's been frightful. I wouldn't wish it on anyone". "I'm just a tourist here".

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