News

Irish backpacker ‘gang raped’ before being murdered

British backpacker Danielle McLaughin was gang raped before being slashed to death, according to her family’s lawyer. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied
British backpacker Danielle McLaughin was gang raped before being slashed to death, according to her family’s lawyer. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied

IRISH backpacker Danielle McLaughlin was gang raped before being slashed to death with a broken beer bottle, according to her family's lawyer.

The explosive claims cast huge doubt on the police investigation in Goa, India, where the British-Irish dual citizenship holder was murdered last week.

And it could mean that while prime suspect Vikat Bhagat, 23, remains in police custody, other alleged attackers could be long-gone, reports The Sun.

"Danielle was 5'8" tall and she was really strong. This fellow Bhagat, he does not look strong and muscular", lawyer Vikram Varma said.

"I doubt he had the strength to overcome Danielle on his own. If she was intoxicated there would have been no need for the terrible injuries she suffered", he added.

"There has to be more than one person involved. I have no doubt."

It comes as Mr Bhagat appeared in court on Monday charged with a separate spate of thefts on tourists. He will face rape and murder charges later.

Meanwhile, a man who was seen with Ms McLaughlin in haunting final pictures has denied having any role in her killing.

The last known pictures of the much-loved jetsetter show her in a bikini top and holding the hand of Rajesh Sarokomart Pant - a local taxi driver known as 'Kanar'.

The 37-year-old reportedly spent hours drinking with Ms McLaughlin, who lived and worked in Liverpool before going travelling, but denies he was holding her hand.

He is one of six men brought in for questioning by police investigating her murder and has since been released on bail.
He said he had been drinking with the traveller in Green Park bar on the night of her death.

Mr Pant claims shortly after that he went home and Ms McLaughlin got on the back of a scooter belonging to suspect Bhagat, who remains in custody.

His wife Rishma, 31, said he had not been with Ms McLaughlin that night.

Other partygoers told how a group of locals were "glued" to Ms McLaughlin, who had painted her face, at the bash for local expats.

The intervention of Mr Varma, who also worked on the case of 15-year-old Scarlett Keeling's 2008 murder, is not the first time police investigating Ms McLaughlin's murder faced criticism.

The latest claims come as Ms McLaughlin's friends revealed she was surrounded by a group of "leering" Indian men at a party hours before she met her tragic end.

On Friday it emerged up to 30 people trampled through the crime scene.

Police have denied mishandling the case.

Deputy Superintendent Sammy Tavares said: "There is no question of polluting the crime scene. We always sanitise the area of crime. We call the crime scene experts and forensics.

"But in this case it might have taken a couple of hours for the team to turn up.

"The accused was identified by some witnesses, but it was done with due diligence."

Police revealed Ms McLaughlin was strangled and slashed to death after she was raped.

Her body was discovered naked in a field near a beach after her face was mutilated with a broken beer bottle.

A post-mortem revealed evidence of sexual assault and "compression of the neck", local media said.

Umesh Gaonkar, of Goa Police, said the examination showed that Ms McLaughlin suffered cerebral damage as well as constriction of the neck, causing her death.

Her heartbroken friends have now set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of repatriating her body.

The page has already raised more than £33,000 ($53,000) for her family.

Mr Bhagat, who appeared in court on 19 separate theft charges, admitted to police that he killed Ms McLaughlin but denied raping her, according to police.

This article first appeared in The Sun.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  danielle mclaughlin goa murder


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Zooming in for a crime cam blitz

SEEING ALL: Hikvision's Dean Edwards shows how CCTV can turn Cooroy's dark streets into windows on crime.

Cooroy street safety in focus

Happy returns but stay focused

FRESH BLOOD: The new Noosa Council as it is sworn in on April 5 last year.

A year after election Noosa Council is on the job

Local Partners

Suicide epidemic spurs support rally

Alan Cutts has made it his mission to raise awareness and funds for a devastating issue affecting rural towns in western Queensland.

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

Daredevils of Nitro Circus to thrill Lismore

Oakes Oval in Lismore will host the sell-out, worldwide phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live during its 15-city Australian tour in April.

The (in)famous 55-foot high Nitro Giganta ramp is the centrepiece

CHOOSING LIFE: Emu Park veteran leads way out of PTSD

WINNING THE FIGHT: Andrea Josephs with her daughter Kyla (10) at the Emu Park Anzac Memorial ahead of her official Matilda Poppy launch this weekend.

Andrea Josephs will officially launch Matilda Poppy in new hometown

Morgan Evans opens up about his CMC love story

SINGER returns from Nashville to host tonight's CMC Music Awards, which he co-hosted last year with his now fiance Kelsea Ballerini.

What's on the big screen this week

OLD TALE: Emma Watson brings to life the character of Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

DISNEY'S remake of Beauty and the Beast opens to rave reviews.

MKR recap: Josh and Amy figure out how to get along

Josh and Amy have figured out how to get along and cook well. Stay away from each other.

THEY’RE the couple we love to hate, but something changed tonight.

Mariah’s making a movie we probably don’t need

Mariah Carey and her dog Jack are prepping for a Christmas movie.

Mariah Carey is making animated movie ready for Christmas.

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

MOVIE REVIEW: Disney remake a beauty-ful story

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star in the movie Beauty and the Beast.

Emma Watson stars as Belle in classic tale of finding unlikely love

MOVIE REVIEW: Peppa Pig's Aussie adventure will delight fans

A scene from My First Cinema Experience: Peppa Pig's Australian Holiday.

Peppa visits Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef in feature film debut

Couple ditch Springfield for $350 million rural lifestyle

Sales consultant Rachel Hargreaves (left) of Oliver Hume Waterlea at Wallon with new land owner Rebecca Mallett.

“To purchase a block the same size would be double the price here"

Blending with the surrounds

Stylish coastal home at Noosa Heads takes its cue from environment

It's official: Byron Bay unaffordable

MILLIONAIRES ROW: The Housing Commission house in Keats St, Byron Bay which sold at auction on Saturday for $1.65 million.

Buying a home in Bay Bay is a dream too far for some

Coast home luring interstate buyers sold

PRIZED POSITION: Blue clip location, peaceful surroundings, spacious living with swimming pool, tennis court on 4562sq
m

The property was described as a 'Queenslander with Hamptons style'

Stylish Coast home lures buyers from four states

PRIZED POSITION: The six-bedroom house with swimming pool and floodlit tennis court is on 4562sq
m.

Expansive property boasts serious space

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!