Scarlett murder case: CBI seeks maximum penalty for accused

Panaji, July 19 (IANS) Samson D'Souza, a beach shack worker who was convicted for sexual assault and death of a 15-year-old British teenager Scarlett Keeling at Anjuna beach in 2008, should be severely punished and the victim's mother should be compensated for trauma, CBI prosecutor Ejaz Khan told the Bombay High Court in Panaji on Friday.

D'Souza's lawyer Shailendra Bhobe requested for leniency because the accused had no prior criminal record, is a father of a 12-year-old child and the only breadwinner in the family.

Both lawyers were arguing before the court ahead of the pronouncement of quantum of sentence in the case, which in likely to be read out later in the day.

"In addition to seeking a very severe punishment, I seek that the victim may be compensated adequately. In this case the victim will mean the victim's mother. She has had to run from pillar to post besides suffer trauma and severe pain in a foreign land," Khan argued, speaking of Scarlett's mother Fiona Mackeown's plight and subsequent crusade for justice.

D'Souza, a beach shack worker, was pronounced guilty of all charges in connection with the 2008 incident on Wednesday. The other accused, Placido Carvalho, was however acquitted of all charges by the court for lack of evidence.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) prosecutor also sought maximum punishment under law, because Goa is a "state of tourist importance and it is important to send a message that we do not tolerate such kind of crimes".

Mackeown's lawyer Vikram Varma told the High Court on behalf of the mother that paedophilia should be treated with the "highest level of seriousness".

Bhobe however sought leniency from the court, arguing that D'Souza was trying to reform himself.

"D'Souza has no criminal antecedents. He has cooperated with the trial at every stage over the last eleven years. He has a wife and a child, who is now 12-years-old and school-going and D'Souza is the only earning member of his family and he should be given a chance to reform himself," he said.



Source : ians

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