Mclaughlin murder: Goa court allows mother's plea to intervene in trial

Goa court has permitted a plea by Ireland-based Andrea Brannigan to intervene in the trial of her daughter Danielle Mclaughlin's rape and murder here last year.

Published: 05th January 2018 02:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th January 2018 06:06 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

PANAJI: A Goa court has permitted a plea by Ireland-based Andrea Brannigan to intervene in the trial of her daughter Danielle Mclaughlin's rape and murder here last year.

The plea in the case of the 28-year-old British passport holder, whose body was found in Canacona in north Goa on March 14, 2017, was allowed by the court yesterday.

The trial has begun before District Judge Sayonara Teles Lad in Margao, south Goa.

Police had booked and chargesheeted a man named Vikat Bhagat for rape, murder, theft and destruction of evidence.

Senior counsel Vikram Varma moved Mclaughlin's mother Andrea Brannigan's application, seeking intervention in the case.

The 46-year-old said in her application that she is an "aggrieved and an interested party...".

According to Varma, Brannigan is within her rights to be informed of the proceedings in the matter as well as assist the prosecution and file written arguments on closure of evidence.

"As the applicant intervenor is presently in Ireland and unable to present herself in person before the court, she has lawfully appointed and empowered a local lady Sapna Naik to act on her behalf," the application states.

The chargesheet, running into almost 700 pages, states that the accused had befriended the British-Irish tourist while she was holidaying in Goa.

On the day of the crime, he allegedly initially tried to rape her at an isolated place between Canacona and Agonda.

Police investigations revealed that as the 28-year-old resisted his attempt, he allegedly hit her on the head with a beer bottle and sexually assaulted her before strangulating her to death.

The accused also smashed her face with a stone to destroy the evidence, police said in the chargesheet.

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