PANAJI, India - The mother of a British schoolgirl found dead on an Indian beach in 2008 fears her daughter will not get justice when a court delivers a long-awaited verdict on two men accused of involvement in her death.

Fifteen-year-old Scarlett Keeling’s bruised and half-naked body was discovered in shallow water on a beach in the popular Indian resort state of Goa eight years ago, making international headlines.

After years of delays and controversy an Indian judge will on Friday finally deliver rulings against two local men accused over the drugging, sexual assault and death of the teenager.

“I don’t know how I’m going to feel tomorrow. I’m getting more and more nervous about the judgement,” Fiona MacKeown, Keeling’s mother, told AFP in an interview on Thursday.

“It’s been a long time. I’ve been waiting, waiting and waiting and I have no idea which way the verdict will go,” she said at her lawyer’s office in Goa’s state capital Panaji.

Keeling’s death drew attention to the dark side of a tourist destination that has long been a hangout for Western hippies and later highlighted India’s notoriously sluggish justice system.

Police initially dismissed the teenager’s death as an accident but opened a murder probe after MacKeown pushed for a second autopsy which proved the teen had been drugged and raped.

Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho were arrested and charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, using force with intent to outrage a woman’s modesty and of administering drugs with intent to harm.

The trial started in 2010 but has been plagued by numerous delays, including infrequent hearings due to a backlog of cases and a public prosecutor withdrawing from proceedings.

“If it’s a guilty verdict I think they’ll appeal. If we get not guilty then hopefully the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) will appeal so it might not be the actual end of it but it’s pretty close to the end,” MacKeown said.

Police allege D’Souza and Carvalho plied Keeling with a cocktail of drink and illegal drugs, including cocaine, before sexually assaulting her and leaving her to die by dumping her unconscious in shallow water where she drowned.

Prosecutors argued that dozens of bruises on Keeling’s body were evidence of a struggle, while defence lawyers claimed the teenager died of accidental drowning after taking illegal drugs of her own accord.

MacKeown said she had been “devastated” by the decision of a key witness not to testify at the trial.

“I felt we had a watertight case before then and without him it’s made it a much more precarious balance about which way it might go,” she told AFP.

The family was on a six-month holiday to India when MacKeown, Keeling and her other daughters went on an excursion to the southern state of Karnataka, but Keeling later returned alone to attend a Valentine’s Day party.

“I gave in and let her go back. Things went wrong and that’s why she never came back to me. I will regret it forever,” said MacKeown.

Whichever verdict is handed down MacKeown said there will never be closure for her.

“I can’t close the door on losing a child. I think about Scarlett every day. I miss her. There’s a hole in our family and there always will be,” she said.