Tim Blackman: This family's ordeal is far from over

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The Independent Online

The Hawker family have shown fantastic strength of will in getting to this day. The arrest of Tatsuya Ichihashi is something they have worked hard for and I'm happy to see that their efforts have been rewarded.

I can understand how they feel that the arrest of the main suspect in Lindsay's murder achieves some justice. But a long process awaits them, both in dealing with the Japanese justice system and their own grieving process. Today's news will cause the Hawkers to revisit all the trauma and tragedy of what took place in March 2007. The judicial process that lies ahead is time-consuming. Between the arrest and sentencing of Joji Obara [the man charged with the murder of Lucie Blackman], it took seven years and his appeal is still ongoing.

The Hawkers have said, as I have done, that what they have gone through is life-changing. It is an experience they will be dealing with for many years to come. It is a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, the judicial process keeps the trauma alive and the sorrow at the loss of a child at the forefront of your mind. But you are also keeping going your relationship with your child and in some way helping her in that search for justice.

Through the Lucie Blackman Trust we are helping other families who have lost a child abroad. Sometimes, regrettably, it is a body which is brought home rather than the person. But through this work, I feel that Lucie's death is not pointless, that it is in some way contributing to the benefit of others.

Tim Blackman is Lucie Blackman's father and founder of the Lucie Blackman Trust