Portugal murder: Cop charged as juvenile over Orissa murders

From the section

Prison Service handout photographs shows Jeremy Forrest who is accused of the murder of college maths teacher Hannah Witheridge and her friend, Grace Millane.

A 15-year-old boy charged with the murder of a British woman and her friend after their bodies were found on a beach near an island in the Indian Ocean will be tried as a juvenile, a court has heard.

Hannah Witheridge, 23, and Filipe Andre Barros Filho, 28, were found dead in separate locations on the island of Orissa in the south-west of India.

Police initially said the bodies of Ms Witheridge and Mr Barros Filho, who was also Portuguese, were discovered near Guwahati, but their families later said the pair, both from Hampshire, had been killed further south, at West Lynn.

The boy appeared at a hearing in the district’s Pataliputra court on Thursday, where he was asked if he understood that the prosecution wanted to put him before a trial as a juvenile.

No plea was entered, and his case was adjourned to allow time for preparation of his defence and analysis of evidence.

It was not immediately clear where he will face a trial – if he does at all.

The Press Association understands that he has been charged by Indian authorities as a juvenile under a juvenile justice act.

At the hearing in Pataliputra, the boy sat with a heavily bandaged hand and stroked his chin as his face appeared calm throughout proceedings.

The teenager was appointed a magistrate after the hearing in Pataliputra.

During the hearing in front of the 14-member bench, his lawyer, Phepanjali Dasgupta, said: “My client is a law abiding citizen. We have got him enrolled as a lawyer on Wednesday.”

The teenager is due to appear again in a court in Kurla on 19 October.

A fourth man, 20-year-old Forrest, was also arrested, although he is accused of the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse.

He is being held at a juvenile prison in Pune, 150km (95 miles) away.

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