Suspect appears in court over girl's murder in Goa

A barman arrested over the rape and murder of Scarlett Keeling, the British girl found dead in Goa, has apparently confessed to having sex with the 15-year-old less than two hours before her semi-naked body was discovered on a beach.

Samson da Souza, who appeared in court yesterday and was remanded in custody, allegedly told police he was with Scarlett in the early hours of 18 February but insisted their liaison was consensual. According to papers presented to the court in Mapusa, Goa, he said she was still alive when he left her at 5.15am.

The arrest of Mr Da Souza, 29, came after doctors carried out a second post-mortem examination of Scarlett under pressure from her mother, Fiona MacKeown, who rejected the initial finding that she had drowned. A second autopsy suggested her death in the resort of Anjuna was "homicidal in nature".

Mrs MacKeown and her lawyer, Vikram Varma, have accused police of a cover-up and do not believe Mr Da Souza – who worked at Lui's Bar where Scarlett was last seen alive – is the main suspect. "He is just a barman," said Mr Varma. "When the police cover up a crime like homicide, there has to be someone else to hide. There is something that does not fit the picture."

Police have detained two other Indian men – Luis Coutinho, the owner of Lui's, and Julio Lobo, a 25-year-old tour guide who was having a sexual relationship with Scarlett. Yesterday, Mrs McKeown asked for India's equivalent of the FBI – the Central Bureau of Investigation – to take over the case and question Goan police officers involved.

"I have lost faith in the current leadership of the Goan police and request for an inquiry by the CBI, both into the circumstances of the crime and the men in uniform," said Mrs McKeown, of Bideford, Devon, who made her request in a letter to Goa's Chief Minister, Digambar Kamat.

Officials at the British high commission confirmed they had spoken to a tourist who claims to have seen Mr Da Souza and Scarlett having sex not long before she was found dead a few metres from the bar at about 6.30am. The man has since asked the commission to ensure his safety.

Scarlett travelled to India in November with her mother and six younger siblings. Reports suggest she was a regular at many of Anjuna's beachfront bars and took drugs there. Mrs MacKeown, 43, denies Scarlett was involved with drugs but admits that, having read her diary, she now realises her daughter was having sex with Mr Lobo.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executives - Outbound & Inbound

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Recruitment Genius: National Account Manager / Key Account Sales

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Consultant

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'