Japan bath murderer loses appeal

Lindsay Hawker's killer has lost his appeal against a life sentence for murdering the British teacher in 2007

The Japanese man who raped and murdered British teacher Lindsay Hawker has lost an appeal against his life sentence.

Tatsuya Ichihashi was jailed last year for the murder of the 22 year old from Warwickshire but his lawyers argued he accidentally suffocated Miss Hawker, whose body was found in a sand filled bath in March 2007.

But the Tokyo High Court rejected the appeal and upheld the sentence. Miss Hawker’s family did not attend the hearing but released a statement saying they were relieved that the original decision was upheld.

Ichihashi was on the run for two years and eight months evading police by undergoing plastic surgery in an attempt to change his looks.

He was arrested in Osaka in November 2009. Under Japanese law Ichihashi will serve a minimum of 10 years before he can be considered for parole.

Miss Hawker’s father Bill had previously called for the heaviest punishment possible, the death penalty, but says Ichihashi’s conviction has brought his family justice.

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