Page last updated at 13:11 GMT, Saturday, 11 October 2008 14:11 UK

Scarlett mother faces Goa warning

Fiona MacKeown
Ms MacKeown has criticised Goa police's handling of the case

The mother of a British teenager raped and murdered in India has been given a final warning to appear in court there to answer allegations of neglect.

Goa state's Directorate of Women and Child Development has given Fiona MacKeown until 15 October to turn up.

But her lawyer, Vikram Varma, said the allegations had "no substance" and his client would remain in the UK. Ms MacKeown is from Bideford, Devon.

Her daughter, Scarlett Keeling, 15, was found dead on a Goa beach in February.

The teenager was on holiday with her family, who were travelling elsewhere in the region at the time of her death.

Ms MacKeown was travelling with her six other children, and left Miss Keeling in the care of a 25-year-old tour guide that the girl had befriended in the resort of Anjuna.

Scarlett Keeling
The family was on a six-month holiday to India
Mr Varma said allegations of neglect by Ms MacKeown had been investigated and dismissed by police already. He called them "ridiculous charges which have no substance".

Initially police said that Miss Keeling's death was an accidental drowning but, after a sustained campaign by Ms MacKeown, further tests found that she had been raped and killed.

The case was transferred from local police to the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation.

Two local men case - Samson D'Souza and Placido Carvalho - have been arrested over the case. Both have been granted bail.




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