The mother of Bideford schoolgirl Scarlett Keeling said she will be seeking an appeal against the decision.
Two men have been cleared of the rape and culpable homicide of Bideford schoolgirl Scarlett Keeling in Goa in 2008.
Scarlett’s bruised and half-naked body was found on popular Anjuna beach in the north of Goa.
The 15-year-old had been at a Valentine’s Day beach party while the rest of her family had gone travelling.
A post-mortem examination showed there was ecstasy, cocaine and LSD in her body.
Her death was originally treated as an accident but eventually police charged two local men, Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho, with causing her death.
They were alleged to have plied her with drugs, raped her and left her unconscious on the beach where she subsequently drowned.
But they were acquitted of charges of rape and culpable homicide at Goa Children’s Court today (Friday).
After hearing the verdicts, Scarlett’s mother Fiona Mackeown, who has fought a long battle for justice, said she would be seeking an appeal.
She told reporters: “I am disappointed with the verdict and I will definitely move to the higher court.”
D’Souza said: “I am happy with the verdict. Justice has prevailed.”
The court had heard that Scarlett, from Bideford, suffered 50 separate injuries.
After the initial police conclusion that she had died accidentally, a second post mortem report was carried at the Goa Medical College and Hospital, and a new investigation was launched
The prosecution alleged that Carvalho and D’Souza, who was working at a beach-side shack near where her body was found, had plied Scarlett with drugs then attacked her.
But defence lawyer Marvin D’Souza said the investigation had been influenced by diplomatic pressure and trial by media.
Scarlett’s mother, who travelled to India for the verdict, has previously described delays in the case as a ‘nightmare’.