Hawker parents to question killer

 The Hawker family departing from Heathrow Airport for the trial in Japan Ms Hawker’s family travelled to Tokyo for the trial of the Japanese man accused of killing their daughter The parents of British teacher Lindsay Hawker who was killed in Japan are due to question the man who has admitted raping and strangling her.

Ms Hawker, 22, from Brandon near Coventry, was found dead in a bath filled with sand at Tatsuya Ichihashi’s flat, east of Tokyo, in March 2007.

The 32-year-old is on trial for raping and murdering his English teacher.

In the Japanese court system families are allowed to question defendants at the discretion of the court.

At the opening of his trial on Monday, Ichihashi admitted raping Miss Hawker and causing her death but said he did not intend to kill her.

The defence said Ichihashi had tried to revive Miss Hawker after accidentally strangling her while trying to prevent her crying out for help.

Lindsay Hawker Lindsay Hawker had been teaching English at a private language school in Japan

As a result, Ichihashi should face a lesser charge of inflicting injury, causing death, his defence team told the court.

Miss Hawker’s parents, Bill and Julia, have been attending the trial and heard how Ichihashi evaded police capture for two years on the run and was said to have tried to perform DIY cosmetic surgery to alter his appearance.

He was finally tracked down to a ferry port in Osaka, in southern Japan, when staff at a plastic surgery clinic became suspicious about their client and told police in November 2009.

Ichihashi was eventually identified by his fingerprints.

The trial continues and a verdict is expected before the end of the month.


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