Fifteen-year-old British teenager Scarlett Keeling who was sexually assaulted and left to die at Anjuna beach in February 2008 was frothing at the mouth when police reached the crime scene, a constable told the Goa Children’s Court (GCC) Monday.
The fresh disclosure was made by constable Gurunath Naik, 29, formerly attached to the Anjuna police station, who was the first prosecution witness to be examined before GCC president B.P. Deshpande.
“I found that her eyes and mouth were partly open. I noticed orange coloured chappals at a distance of around 2 to 3 metres from the said body. I also observed that froth was coming from the mouth,” Naik told the court.
Recalling the series of events which led to the discovery of Scarlett’s half-naked body at Anjuna beach, Naik said he had rushed to the spot after an unknown person telephoned the police station that a dead body was lying on the beach.
“We noticed the body of a woman lying on the beach and sea waves splashing against it. We also noticed that the said body was not having any clothes…,” Naik, whose statement has been recorded twice by Goa police and once by the Central Bureau of Investigations, told the GCC.
The defence counsel has described the series of events which Naik narrated to the GCC as part of the trial, as contradictory to his earlier statements to investigating agencies.
Counsel for Samson D’Souza, 30, advocate Ryan Menezes during his cross-examination pointed out to several contradictions in statements of Naik to investigative agencies earlier and his deposition to the GCC Monday.
While Naik in his deposition Monday said that Scarlett’s body was found with froth lining her mouth, Menezes pointed out that Naik had not stated this observation in any of his earlier three statements recorded by investigating agencies.
Menezes also said that while Naik in his statement Monday said the teenager’s body was picked up from the sand and placed a few metres away to prevent the waves from dragging it back into the sea, in his earlier statement on Feb 2, 2008, he had said that the body was in fact on a stretcher. This, he said, amounted to a contradiction of facts.
S. Rivonkar, lawyer for CBI which filed the charge sheet in the case, told IANS after the hearing that the contradictions were minor and will have no bearing on the final outcome.
The next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
Two beach shack workers Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho, were charged by the CBI in connection with Scarlett’s death.
The CBI has also compiled a list of nearly 72 witnesses, who are likely to be examined in the case.