In a new twist to Scarlett Keeling's brutal death, her boyfriend told a Goa court that she and her family were threatened by a local named Shanti a short while before she was found sexually assaulted and killed at the Anjuna beach in February 2008.
The British holidayer's boyfriend Julio Lobo, 27, also told the Goa Children's Court (GCC) earlier this month that both Scarlett, 15, and her mother Fiona Mackeown were drunk when he first met them.
'I stated to the police that Shanti was fighting and threatening Scarlett and her family members. To my knowledge Scarlett and her family left the house at Anjuna because of the said reason and shifted to Arambol,' Julio told the GCC in his recorded statement. IANS has a copy of the court endorsed statement.
'Because I had a friendship with Scarlett, Shanti had a grudge against me. On account of the said relationship, he had also once damaged my motorcycle,' said Julio, adding that Shanti was a 'friend' of Scarlett.
Julio's references to Shanti and the latter's threats to Scarlett and her family add a fresh dimension to Scarlett's death, in which two beach shack workers Samson Dsouza and Placido Carvalho have already been arrested and booked for culpable homicide and sexual assault.
Julio himself was arrested and released on bail earlier for staying with Scarlett, a minor girl. This is illegal under the Goa Children's Act, a special legislation enacted to try crimes against children.
Julio said Scarlett loved beer and Bacardi Breezer and could even consume 'half a bottle of vodka'.
'When Scarlett used to go for parties, she used to drink beer and Bacardi Breezer... I was told by the victim (Scarlett) that on one occasion, she had consumed half a bottle of vodka. The victim has once asked me for drugs and I had told her never to ask drugs from me,' said Julio, a tourist guide by profession.
Scarlett's mother Fiona is expected depose in the GCC Friday.