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Home > India > News > PTI

Scarlette's mother slams Brit press for defamation

March 18, 2008 21:32 IST

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Fiona Mackeown, mother of British teenaged girl Scarlette Keeling whose death on a beach in Goa [Images] sparked outrage, on Tuesday accused a section of the British media of unleashing 'bad press' on her.

"Whatever they write is absolutely wrong. They have coerced my elder son to give statements while he is admitted in Plymouth Hospital at Davon (UK)," Fiona told PTI.

Fiona's elder son was being quoted as saying that their home at Davon is a drug den while he had refuted that his mother was a drug trader involved in any such activity.

"He called me and was crying. He denied that he spoke any such thing to the media," the mother said.

The mother, who has taken Goa's establishment head on over the death of Scarlette, said she has been defamed by a section of UK media for refusing to accept money by a UK- based newspaper.

"A UK-based newspaper offered me 10,000 pounds as a contribution within weeks of Scarlette's death. In return, they wanted exclusivity to the coverage," Fiona said.

Admitting that her elder son suffers from drug abuse, Fiona said he is admitted in the hospital with broken neck and legs. "He was taking drugs; I admit," she said.

Asked whether the conduct of her son does not amount to bad parenting, Fiona shot back, "There are drugs everywhere. Many people take drugs. I know he is also taking them".

She, however, refuted the charge that Scarlette had taken drugs. "She never took drugs. She never showed abnormal behaviour. She was an active girl," Fiona stated.

The mother said that although the UK press has defamed her, she has no resources to file defamation suit against them. "My priority here is to get justice to Scarlette," she said.

Fiona said she will soon take back Scarlette's body, and after the burial, return back to Goa to continue the fight. "I will surely return and stay here for the fight. But not in Anjuna," she said.

Scarlette was found dead on Anjuna beach on February 18 and the police have already arrested two locals for allegedly drugging, raping and murdering her.

"She did not die due to drowning. There are many more people involved in her death who are left scot-free. She died as her head was pushed in the sand. Her dead body was found above the high tide line," Fiona said.

The 43-year-old British mother of nine children has said that nothing other than an inquiry by Central Bureau of Investigation can unearth the truth behind Scarlette's death.

"I am not certain who killed my daughter but I want justice for her," she said.

Fiona, who had accused state home minister Ravi Naik and director general of police B S Brar of having links with the drug mafia, said Scarlette was killed because she would recognise 'somebody'.

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