Derby detectives scour Indian police files for Goa death clues
DERBYSHIRE cops are searching through Indian police files in the hope they could shed new light on the mysterious death of a city mum.
The paperwork concerning the death of Denyse Sweeney has been provided to Derby officers by officials in Goa.
The 34-year-old died while volunteering in the Indian holiday resort. Her family believe she was murdered.
Now they hope the statements and interviews could provide new evidence in their bid to find out what happened to her.
Detectives will discuss the contents of the files with Denyse's family, who also expect to be shown new CCTV footage of the mum-of-two entering a bar on the night of her death.
Her sister Maureen Sweeney, of Underhill Avenue, Derby, said: "This is a major step forward for us and we are really eager to find out what new evidence may be revealed in those files.
"One theory we have is that there may be a British suspect involved and if that is the case then the jurisdiction may fall on the police here in Derby.
"We have never made any secret that we believe the cops in India are corrupt and may be involved in some kind of cover-up.
"So if the onus is moved back here to England then we will feel far more confident that we will find out the truth about how Denyse died."
Miss Sweeney died in Anjuna, Goa, in April 2010.
At the time she was volunteering for an animal charity in the resort.
She was reported to have collapsed in a bar that has since been demolished, called The Primrose Bar, "as though she had taken (the drug Ketamine)".
Miss Sweeney, formerly of Cambridge Street, Normanton, was taken to hospital but declared dead less than an hour later.
Her Indian autopsy report said she had "most likely" died of a drug overdose.
But the results of a toxicology test, carried out in India 21 months after her death and revealed at an inquest in Derby in April this year, showed there were no illegal substances in Miss Sweeney's system.
There were also up to 20 unexplained marks on her body.
Her sisters Maureen, 43, and Marion, 41; son Ben, 19, and niece Rochelle, 21, all think she was murdered.
Together with the Derby Telegraph they have launched a Justice for Denyse campaign that has forced the Indian authorities to re-open an investigation in Goa.
Maureen and Marion are also fundraising to get the money together to fly to India in the new year to talk to officials there.
Marion said: "One thing we are hoping to see is this new CCTV of Denyse entering the bar with one or two men who may be able to help police if they can identify them and question them.
"We're not sure how long it will be before the police in Derby will have finished analysing the evidence that has been sent but it certainly is a nervous, but exciting, time for us.
"The Derby police have been great since the investigation was re-opened and we just pray they have some good news for us."
Detective Inspector Paul Tatlow is leading the investigation for Derbyshire police.
He said: "We requested the information from the Indian police and it arrived a week ago.
"There is a large amount of documentation to go through and not all of it is in English so it could take some time before we are able to condense it and let Maureen and Marion know what lines of inquiry have come from it."
INITIAL INVESTIGATION 'BOTCHED'
April 16, 2010: Denyse Sweeney dies in Anjuna, Goa. Police tell British authorities she fell and hit her head.
April 2010: The family of Miss Sweeney learn of her death through a message on Facebook.
December 2011: A toxicology report is completed on Miss Sweeney's body following pressure from the Foreign Office. It states the most likely cause of death was a drug overdose.
April 18, 2012: An inquest is held in Derby. Coroner Dr Robert Hunter says there are no signs of drugs in the body and no explanation for 20 injuries.
April 21: The Derby Telegraph launches its Justice For Denyse campaign.
May 24: Denyse's son, Ben, speaks for the first time about how he believes his mother was murdered.
June 1: The British High Commission says it cannot force the case to be reopened.
July 7: Police in Goa reopen the investigation. Indian press say it is being treated as murder.
July 19: Indian TV says Goan police "botched" the original investigation.
October 3: Miss Sweeney's family are told they do not need to give evidence in India.