A regional daily’s campaign to win justice for the family of a women who died in India has seen success after a murder investigation was finally opened.
The Derby Telegraph launched its Justice for Denyse campaign to help the family of Denyse Sweeney in their search for answers after the 34-year-old’s death in Goa two years ago.
An autopsy into her death said it was “most likely” caused by a drugs overdose but the paper launched its campaign in April this year after an inquest in Derby found there were no illegal substances in her body and that she had 20 injuries.
Denyse’s sisters have now been told a murder investigation has been opened in India and following the news, they have praised the Telegraph for its “tireless campaign”.As part of the campaign, the paper’s crime reporter Martin Naylor travelled to the Foreign Office in London last Friday with Denyse’s sister, son and niece.
Following the meeting with civil servants, the family found out within 24 hours that the Indian authorities were reopening the investigation.
The paper also contacted former Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett, who is MP for Derby South, who met with the family and used her contacts to put pressure on the Indian authorities.
Editor Neil White said: “The success ultimately will be that we find out what happened to Denyse and if she was murdered, that the killer is brought to book.
“We have applied political pressure which means that there has been a reaction in India and an investigation has been opened. That to my mind is brilliant for the local press in this country.
“It is what the Derby Telegraph is all about in terms of standing up for people who were a bit lost as to what to do. We were able to support them in finding out what happened to their very close relative.
“It is gratifying that the family has recognised that the Telegraph is a place they could turn to to campaign on their behalf.”
He added the campaign for justice would continue and would be helped by the coverage it has now gained in Indian media, which has seen Neil interviewed for India’s TV Today Network.
Denyse’s sister Maureen Sweeney said: “Without the Telegraph, we wouldn’t have got anywhere near having this investigation.
“Everything the paper has printed has spread over to Goa and that’s what’s kept the pressure up over there.”