crime

Trial of Lindsay Ann Hawker murder suspect Ichihashi to start July 4

31 Comments

The trial of Tatsuya Ichihashi, 32, the man accused of the murder of British teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker, will begin on July 4, the Chiba district court said Tuesday. The trial is expected to last a little over two weeks with the verdict to be handed down on July 21.

According to his lawyer, Ichihashi has admitted that he caused Hawker's death, but claims he did not intend to murder her. He was quoted as saying that he crushed her windpipe while trying to prevent her from crying out.

On the evening of March 26, 2007, the body of Hawker was found, covered in sand, in a bathtub on the balcony of Ichihashi's apartment in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture. Ichihashi eluded police who came to his apartment, inquiring about Hawker. She had been reported missing after giving Ichihashi an English lesson at a nearby coffee shop.

During two years and seven months on the lam, Ichihashi worked as a laborer in Kansai and underwent plastic surgery to alter his appearance. He was apprehended on Nov 10, 2009, at Osaka port while attempting to board a ferry to Okinawa.

Members of Hawker's family are expected to come to Japan for the trial.

© Compiled from news reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments
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Let's all hope this sicko gets what he deserves. This trial has taken too long to get started already.

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According to his lawyer, Ichihashi has admitted that he caused Hawker’s death, but claims he did not intend to murder her. He was quoted as saying that he crushed her windpipe while trying to prevent her from crying out.

Oh, well it was obviously her fault then. She should have been silent while you were beating and raping her then?

Also, anyone with any sense would know that if you try to shut someone up, you cover their mouth, not crush their windpipe. You crush someones windpipe when you're trying to kill them.

I just hope the jurors/magistrates have sense. Or is that too much to ask for?

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This cowardly rapist and murderer deserves nothing less than execution. Let's finish it off soon.

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Judging from the history of how the j-legal systems deal with murder cases ,in particular involving foreigners....he as a JN with the help of his countrymen ideological prosecutors,attorneys,and other support entities ...will have puzziling outcomes, along with the perps stance of ..."i did not mean it" but he wrote a book...and then may try to use insanity pleas or whatever scheme may have advantages at that time ...to be judged by "j-lay judges" and get a j-sentence that will probably have him back on the j-streets in 25 years...

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Two week trial and then off to the gallows!!

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I guess he's had a long time to regret what he did, now its time to start making excuses to justify murder with manslaughter. Either way this boy is going down.....

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He may be going down, but he won't be going away for a long time. I suspect he will only get three to four years, if that much.

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japan really need a felony-murder law i.e. if you kill someone during the commission of a felony, its considered murder rather than manslaughter whether you intended to kill them or not.

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Disillusioned

He'll get a lot more than 3-4 years. This is a high-profile case. I would say he will get 15-20 years. As I understand it, the severity of the sentence will depend on if the prosecution can actually prove murder. For a long time, he was only charged with abandoning a body. I am assuming that DNA evidence will help nail him for the charge of murder.

And Roppongi, your assertion that the nationality of the victim will play a part in the outcome is nonsense.

However, I fear the Hawker family is in for a tough two weeks, though. They'll have to sit through the trial, conducted in Japanese all day long, with some Japanese friend doing a running translation for them. They'll be wondering why doesn't the court do it this way or that way, why don't they ask him this, what about that? Natural, as their point of reference is the Western-style trial.

When the grisly details come out, Mr Hawker will probably feel like lunging at Ichihashi.

And all through it, the question they have asked themselves a million times will probably not be answered: "Why did you have to kill her?" I doubt that Ichihashi will address the family.

Anyway, I trust that the lay jury will deliver a just verdict.

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MrDog: "I just hope the jurors/magistrates have sense. Or is that too much to ask for?"

I hope so, too, but I have my doubts he'll get a reasonable sentence. Lest we forget, he was allowed to publish an auto-biography of the murder and his time on the run, which may greatly influence the verdict (a few people seem to have a bit of sympathy for the young lad even!).

Regardless, I do indeed hope he gets a lengthy sentence. I'm sorry, but you do NOT crush someone's windpipe 'by accident' -- you do so by wrapping your hands around someone's throat and pressing quite hard.

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well let's see, two yrs ago a Japanese DJ got a three-year suspended sentence for snapping a foreigner's neck--(needed to calm the foreigner down). In this case the "defendent" needed to keep her "from crying out." Good thing he didn't ride her like a horse while "deeply" puncturing her body multiple times with a knife like a former student did while riding his former professor, or he might receive a total of 18 years (wow, that loon will be back on the street before he's 50). Hard to predict the sentencing for our former man on the run, but more will be appalled than satisfied coz I doubt he will be swinging from a rope regardless of the international coverage. Of course a few here will be happy that my taxes will provide him three squares a day until his release.

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smartacus - He won't be charged with murder at all. This is Japan, not the real world. He has shown remorse, he is stating her death was an accident. It will be concluded she died by accident and he will be charged abandoning a body, hence 3-4 years and the time he has already spent in the pen will be deducted from his sentence. I hope I am wrong, but I fear I am not.

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"And Roppongi, your assertion that the nationality of the victim will play a part in the outcome is nonsense."

That aint what the British tell me...

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That trial will be over in just about 2 weeks? I find that hard to believe considering other trials go on for at least 4 years.

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your assertion that the nationality of the victim will play a part in the outcome is nonsense.

I don't think it is. I think if it had been the other way around, a foreigner killing a young Japanese woman, he would certainly never have been allowed to write an autobiography for starters.

The Blackman case showed us how stupid the judicial system here is. i.e. you can be found guilty of drugging, raping and disposing of someones body, but not for murdering them.

I also agree that Japan need a felony-murder law. This "she died when I mistakenly crushed her windpipe while trying to stop her screaming for help as I raped her, so it's not murder" being accepted is just rubbish.

He should get the death penalty. No matter what he says about it being an "accident", he still showed no remorse by fleeing and being on the run for so long, then writing a book about his exploits.

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it took the authorities 2 years to catch this scumbag? I think maybe the lifesize cut-outs of him really helped. sheer genious.

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As both an atheist and non-supporter of the death penalty (having grown up and all) I can't hope for his execution, nor that he rot in hell. But I certainly hope he faces a long custodial sentence and that steps are taken so that such people are identified early to prevent such sad outcomes... and maybe that the keystone cops of this country could learn to do their jobs a bit more efficiently.

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smartacus - He won't be charged with murder at all.

rest assured, you are incorrect. he was originally held on suspicion that he abandoned a body, pending investigation. after investigators established enough evidence he was charged with Lyndsay's rape and murder. this guys is going down..

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He won't get the death penalty--it is almost never given for only 1 victim.

There's a guy in my neighborhood that has been following me around for weeks trying to get me to come to his house "for English lessons." I stopped in at the koban to let them know, but they seemed unconcerned as I haven't let him get close enough to touch me yet. He has a nasty habit of popping out around corners in the dark...

Anyway, I wonder how many women will have to die until the police start recognizing the threat in people like this?

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There's a guy in my neighborhood that has been following me around for weeks trying to get me to come to his house "for English lessons." I stopped in at the koban to let them know, but they seemed unconcerned as I haven't let him get close enough to touch me yet.

There was a weird guy following the gaijin schoolgirls from the neighborhood to the local intl school (including my kid) every morning; the koban said nothing could be done about it until he did something physically to them...

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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wow! Sara, be extra careful and good luck with that.

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And Roppongi, your assertion that the nationality of the victim will play a part in the outcome is nonsense.

This is the crime section, not the entertainment section! "Will play" would be saying too much. But it is possible, even likely, looking at past cases, and it happens a lot more places than just Japan.

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fds said: japan really need a felony-murder law i.e. if you kill someone during the commission of a felony, its considered murder rather than manslaughter whether you intended to kill them or not.

Absolutely.

Despite what some say, it might have been an accident. One hand on her mouth and a forearm on her throat, but all concentration on the hand on her mouth and yes people are that stupid, just like when they knock over a glass on the table reaching for the mashed potatoes.

I don't happen to think it was an accident though based on all I have read. But I don't care either way. He intented to harm her either way and if she died in the process, I call it murder.

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I am waiting to see how probing the questions are and whether the prosecution can establish a motive in this case? The accused's repeated attempt at evasion, ,martial arts training,repeated plastic surgery,mutilation of the body and the macabre attempt to hideand destroy it, are all factors that would lead any court to realise that Ichihashi is most certainly abnormal.If he can plead insanity I wonder how the case would fair?

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He was quoted as saying that he crushed her windpipe while trying to prevent her from crying out.

Well, even if everything he claims is true, that's actually still murder. It just wouldn't be first degree in some countries, but I doubt it matters in Japan.

This is typical murderer thinking - I wouldn't have killed her if she didn't resist, so it wasn't murder by definition.

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"MrDog" I could not agree more!!!! The death penalty needs to be in effect for sure! Regardless of him showing remorse, that is the biggest cop-out from criminals.

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Um, the only remorse he has ever shown is that he had no choice but to kill her. That's basically what he's said over and over. He doesn't think it's murder - he was just choking her until she stopped making any noise. Gee whiz.

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He deserves to die, but society does not deserve be labeled killers the same as Ichihashi. I hope for life with no parole, even though I know I won't get it.

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If this guy walks out of the death penalty....I curse the juridictional system here!!

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**Disillusioned at 12:59 PM JST - 20th April

smartacus - He won't be charged with murder at all. This is Japan, not the real world. He has shown remorse, he is stating her death was an accident. It will be concluded she died by accident and he will be charged abandoning a body, hence 3-4 years and the time he has already spent in the pen will be deducted from his sentence. I hope I am wrong, but I fear I am not. **

EXACTLY!! You have to be born in this country and know the judicial system well enough to predict something like this. I was born here and I have spend most of my 30 years in this country. and I can assure you that this something similar of what he will get.

I read many posters bragging about how he's gonna get the death penalty. Hello??? This is JAPAN, not your home country. Here is Japan, NOT the REAL WORLD.

And yes, Japan has many many extraordinary and beautiful things, but the judicial system is not one of them. It makes me shameful and angry.

Open your eyes, please!

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He deserves to die, but society does not deserve be labeled killers the same as Ichihashi. I hope for life with no parole, even though I know I won't get it.

Killing a killer isn't committing murder. A man who has committed murder is no longer a person, they have removed themselves from out of civilized society. Its like saying if you kill a fish, you are a murderer. Sorry, but this simply doesn't work. This man deserves to die for what he did. Thats all there is to it.

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