Ian Collins is Leading Britain's Conversation.
Shelagh Fogarty speaks to the mother of Scarlett Keeley
Shelagh Fogarty speaks to the mother of Scarlett Keeley who was killed in India and saw her daughter's alleged killers walk free today.
Fiona MacKeown told Shelagh Fogarty says she is devastated with the non-guilty verdict given to two men, but that she will fight on.
In February 2008 15-year-old Scarlett Keeling was enjoying the trip of a lifetime with her family to Goa in India. On the morning of February 18 she was found dead on a beach, bruised and partially clothed. Today her mother, Fiona, watched the two men alleged to have murdered her daughter walk free after a judge made a decision in "seconds".
Fiona MacKeown spoke to Shelagh Fogarty this afternoon and told her how she felt in light of the verdict.
“I was shocked and devastated. It was so quick I didn’t even really hear her [the judge].
“I knew from the reaction in the room it was a negative outcome for us.”
Fiona believes that she was lied to by the police from the start, including about how Scarlett was found and about the evidence at the crime scene. Her daughter's death was even initially ruled as an accident, which forced Scarlett's family to campaign for a second post mortem.
Eventually two men, Placido Carvalho, 48, and Samson D'Souza, 37, were charged with culpable homicide and grievous sexual assault at a court in Goa. But neither were found guilty.
After enduring an eight-year fight to get to this stage, and then seeing the prime suspects walk free after such a short trial, Fiona is understandably dismayed with the Indiain justice system, which she describes as "non-existent".
In spite of today's verdict, Fiona vows to fight on to try and get justice for her daughter. She's now awaiting the written statement from the judge in the trial and plans to try and take the case to a higher court.