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Policeman tells Goa court of Scarlett body find

5 April 10 14:40 GMT

A policeman has told an Indian court how he found the body of a British teenager lying on a tourist beach.

Two men are accused of killing 15-year-old Scarlett Keeling, of Bideford, Devon, who died in Anjuna, Goa, in February 2008.

Constable Gurunath Naik told their trial she was naked and half-submerged.

Samson D'Souza, 30, and 42-year-old Placido Carvalho, are accused of culpable homicide, grievous sexual assault and destroying evidence.

Scarlett and her family were on a six-month holiday in India when she was left in the care of a 25-year-old tour guide while the rest of her family went travelling.

Constable Naik told Goa Children's Court in Panaji that he found her body lying face-down after he responded to a report from an unknown caller.

'Orange slippers'

The constable said he dragged the body out of the water and covered it with a sheet. He waited near the body until other officers arrived after he informed his superiors, he said.

He told BP Deshpande, the president of the court, that "orange-coloured slippers were lying two to three metres away from the body".

During cross-examination, the defence counsel found that several statements from Mr Naik did not correspond to earlier ones made to the Anjuna police, the Goa police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The constable also said he improved statements to the Goa police and the CBI on instruction of the investigating officer.

CBI counsel SR Rivonkar told reporters after the hearing: "These are minor contradictions and are bound to happen."

Mr Rivonkar said statements from more than 70 witnesses, including Scarlett's boyfriend, Julio Lobo, were to be heard.

The teenager's mother, Fiona MacKeown, and Ruby Caso, a Spanish friend who was with her hours before she died, are expected to testify through video conferencing.

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