Indian gets 10 years in prison in death of British teenager

An Indian court has sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for the death of a British teenager whose body was found on a Goa beach in 2008

NEW DELHI -- An Indian court on Friday sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for the drugging and killing of a 15-year-old British girl whose body was found on a Goa beach in 2008.

Mumbai High Court Justices R D Dhanuka and Prithviraj Chavan handed Samson D'Souza the sentence for culpable homicide two days after overturning his acquittal in the attack on Scarlett Keeling. But the court upheld the trial court's acquittal of another suspect in her death.

Vikram Varma, a lawyer representing Keeling's mother, Fiona MacKeown, said in Panaji, the capital of Goa state, he was happy with the court's decision.

It has taken a lot of time, but justice has been done, he said.

The teenager's death caused outrage among the millions of tourists who throng the beaches of the resort city on India's west coast.

Police originally said Keeling had drowned after taking drugs, but changed their story after her mother complained. D'Souza's sentencing comes after an 11-year battle for justice by Scarlett's mother.

A trial court acquitted both of the accused in 2016 saying there was not enough evidence to convict them. The High Court took up the case in 2017 after an appeal by the Central Bureau of Investigation, India's FBI.

Under Indian laws, both the accused and prosecutors can appeal a trial court's verdict to the High Court and the Supreme Court.

D'Souza and prosecutors can still appeal his sentence to the Supreme Court, and prosecutors can still appeal the acquittal of the second suspect as well.