Neglect charge against British teenager’s mother dismissed

December 18th, 2008 - 5:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Dec 18 (IANS) Goa’s Women and Child Development (WCD) department has dismissed a petition against slain British teenager Scarlett Keeling’s mother Fiona Mackeown on a technicality, as the police was already investigating similar charges against her. A petition filed by a local NGO Utt Goenkara had argued that it was Fiona’s criminal neglect of Scarlett which had resulted in the teenager’s death and sought penal action against her.

In his order, WCD Director Sanjiv Gadkar stated that the case against Fiona stood dismissed since the Anjuna police were already investigating similar charges of neglect. Fiona’s lawyer Vikram Varma had maintained that same charges could not be investigated by two separate agencies of government.

In October this year, the Anjuna police had told the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court that they would probe the complaint filed against Fiona by Utt Goenkara, seeking an investigation into her role as a mother in the death of Scarlett.

The teenager’s body was found in a half naked state at Anjuna beach in February.

The police had earlier tried to dismiss the case as a suicide. But Fiona’s subsequent campaign for justice had attracted international spotlight and exposed Goa tourism’s ugly underbelly.

Fiona has claimed that the drug mafia in Goa was involved in her daughter’s murder and had even named Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik’s son Roy as a suspect, a charge the minister denied.

Meanwhile, Halloran Keeling, brother of the slain British teenager has been jailed for 36 weeks for assaulting two men in UK, The Sun has reported.

Halloran is reported to have gone into depression after hearing of his 15-year-old sister’s death earlier in February. He is the eldest of the nine Keeling siblings and had missed the vacation to Goa earlier this year, during which Scarlett was killed.

Halloran was reportedly drunk when he assaulted the two persons. The Sun has quoted Fiona as saying: “He mixes his medication, then drinks on it - it turns him into someone else. I hope prison will help him straighten out. He needs more help than I can give him.”

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