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.

What is open in Proserpine this Anzac Day

Whats open and what's not in Proserpine tomorrow.

What is open in Proserpine this Anzac Day

Lions fuel up Debbie emergency crews

Just some of the emergency services workers to be fed at the Lions pop-up kitchen in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.

Lions fuel up Debbie emergency crews

Students pay respect to the Anzacs

Deputy principal Ian Dachs and school captains Bree Jolley and Malachi Lane at the wreath laying ceremony.

Students pay respect to the Anzacs.

Local Partners

The show goes on at St Cath's

And the show of the hit musical Grease performed by students of St Catherine's Catholic College is no exception.

REVEALED: When TK Maxx will open in Toowoomba

European chain department store TK Maxx is opening in Toowoomba on Saturday, May, 6.

The global megastore has revealed when it will open its doors

What public holidays are left in 2017

HOLIDAYS: Out and about at Dicky Beach are Janine and Cooper, 3, Smith with Tamara and Harrison Polzin, 18 months.

THE Easter break is almost over but there are plenty of days off yet

Gold Logie winner defends Molly Meldrum's Logies hijack

GOLD Logie award-winner Samuel Johnson has said stage crasher Molly Meldrum “must have been loosey-goosy”, but has defended the icon.

Amber Heard, billionaire Elon Musk in Queensland

Amber Heard

Tesla boss leads celebrity spotting on the Gold Coast

Dave Hughes almost went too far in Logies monologue

Dave Hughes skewered the A-list in his opening monologue

Mackay lawyer dishes on MKR behind the scenes

Della Whearty from MKR.

Mackay lawyer talks her My Kitchen Rules journey.

Movie review: Going in Style a grey-powered crowd pleaser

Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine in a scene from the movie Going in Style.

The tale of three men and a mobility scooter a tad formulaic.

Logies 2017: Meldrum's odd speech as Samuel Johnson wins Gold

Samuel Johnson shows off his Best Actor gong before going onto win the Gold.

Samuel Johnson named Gold Logie Winner of the 59th Annual TV Week Gold Logie...

Lisa Curry and fiance sell up Sunshine Coast property

I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! contestant Lisa Curry with partner Mark Tabone after being evicted from the South African jungle. Picture: Dylan Robinson ***EMBARGOED 7:30pm March 9th***

Plans for dream home on hold at Mount Mellum place on market

SOLD: Iconic M'boro pub set to be transformed

Shane Muller from Maryborough Motorcycles will be opening up a showroom and café at the Shamrock Hotel.

The Shamrock Hotel is set to be transformed in the next two months.

Family loses everything to fire then cyclone

The Williams family has been doing it tough since a fire destroyed their home and Cyclone Debbie destroyed what they'd rebuilt.

A family of five was left with nothing after Cyclone Debbie.

Coast developer looks to prime real estate's future

MANY OPTIONS: Sunshine Coast developer Graeme Juniper is considering what to do with a prime piece of real estate he owns on Radical Bay on Magnetic Island, near Townsville.

Radical Bay is World Environment Heritage-listed.

This small box of a unit just sold for $1 million

Elizabeth Bay unit has charming views to Sydney Heads.

If this doesn't scream 'housing bubble', nothing does.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!