Life for Lindsay Hawker's killer

The father of murdered British teacher Lindsay Hawker said his family had finally achieved justice after her killer was jailed for life in Japan today.

Tatsuya Ichihashi, 32, was sentenced at Chiba District Court for the rape and murder of Miss Hawker, 22, in March 2007.



He went on the run for nearly three years after the killing, undergoing extensive cosmetic surgery to change his appearance.



Speaking after the sentencing, Miss Hawker's father Bill said: "We've waited four-and-a-half years to get justice for Lindsay. We have achieved that today, and we are very pleased."



Thanking the Japanese authorities for persisting in their efforts to catch the killer, he said: "Lindsay loved Japan and you have not let her down."











Please legal - Life for Lindsay Hawker's killer



Majid Mohamed

to:

lawyers

21/07/2011 15:12













The father of murdered British teacher Lindsay Hawker said his family had finally achieved justice after her killer was jailed for life in Japan today.

Tatsuya Ichihashi, 32, was sentenced at Chiba District Court for the rape and murder of Miss Hawker, 22, in March 2007.



He went on the run for nearly three years after the killing, undergoing extensive cosmetic surgery to change his appearance.



Speaking after the sentencing, Miss Hawker's father Bill said: "We've waited four-and-a-half years to get justice for Lindsay. We have achieved that today, and we are very pleased."



Thanking the Japanese authorities for persisting in their efforts to catch the killer, he said: "Lindsay loved Japan and you have not let her down."









Ichihashi admitted raping and strangling the English language teacher but said he did not mean to kill her.



However, the judges and jurors jointly hearing his trial rejected his claims and ruled that he intended to murder her.



Mr Hawker, his wife Julia and their other daughters, Lisa and Louise, flew into Japan yesterday so they could attend today's hearing.



The brutal murder shocked Japan and the courtroom was packed with people who had queued for hours to secure one of the 60 seats in the public gallery.



At an earlier hearing Mr Hawker asked the court to give Ichihashi the "heaviest punishment" possible under Japanese law - theoretically the death penalty.



Leeds University graduate Miss Hawker, from Brandon, near Coventry, travelled to Japan in October 2006 to work as an English teacher with the Nova language school.



She was last seen alive after giving her killer an English lesson in a coffee shop on March 25 2007.



Ichihashi went on the run after Japanese police discovered the young teacher's battered and bound body buried naked in a sand-filled bathtub on the balcony of his flat in Ichikawa City, east of Tokyo.



A massive manhunt was launched, with police offering a 10 million yen (£77,700) reward and putting up wanted posters around the country.



He was finally arrested at a ferry terminal in the city of Osaka in western Japan in November 2009 as he waited for a ferry to Okinawa.



Ichihashi has since published a book in which he confessed to the killing and described how he underwent often grisly cosmetic surgery in an attempt to disguise his features and evade capture.



He claimed he wrote the work, called Until The Arrest, as a "gesture of contrition for the crime I committed" and has promised to donate all proceeds to Miss Hawker's family.



Ichihashi told his murder trial on July 4 that he enticed Miss Hawker into his apartment, raped her, and then strangled her because he feared neighbours would hear her screams and call the police.



He admitted causing her death but said he did not intend to murder her and could not remember strangling her.











Judge Masaya Hotta said Ichihashi showed no respect for Miss Hawker's life and committed a "heinous" crime.



"The victim was raped, with her dignity violated and life taken away while going through unbearable pain. At the age of 22, her future was taken away," he said.



But the judge ruled that the killer should not receive the death penalty because he had no previous criminal record and there was a slight chance of him being rehabilitated.

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