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Grim journey

35 Comments

Bill Hawker, father of murdered British teacher Lindsay Hawker, is surrounded by the media upon arrival at Narita international airport on Sunday. Hawker, his wife Julia and their two daughters Lisa and Louise are in Japan to attend the trial of Tatsuya Ichihashi, who is accused of the murder and rape of their daughter in March 2007. The trial starts Monday and a verdict is expected to be handed down on July 21.

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I hope they seek true justice and not state sanctioned murder.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I hope that during their trip they will find something to like about Japan. In spite of Ichihashi's deed, it would be nice if the Hawkers can come to realize that Japan is not such a bad little country.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I hope they eventally go back home with peace in their hearts and without other people forcing their own political and social views on them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hope justice is served.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They've been through hell. I hope they get to see him swing.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

All the best to the Hawkers - they have been through the worst ordeal possible, the brutal rape and murder of their daughter. They will have to hear every detail during the court case which will be harrowing. Let's hope justice is served - if found guilty I see no logical reason why this cowardly rapist-killer should not be sentenced to hang. Only last week a man was sentenced to death for the murder of a poor high-school girl here, so let's all hope for some consistency.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I think the Hawkers, like 99% of other people, can distinguish between the actions of one man and the image of a whole country. Foreign nationals seeking justice for murder in Japanese courts according to Japanese law is not an act of Japan-bashing or gaiatsu.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The pros and cons of capital punishment notwithstanding, the posters in here who expect a death sentence don't seem to be familiar with sentencing practices by Japanese courts in murder trials. Unless the prosecution can somehow prove that Ichihashi acted with premeditation, there is no chance he'll hang. (And such a sentence would have a strong chance of being reversed on appeal.) What they are likely to do is seek guilty verdicts on several different charges, including homicide, abandonment of a corpse, etc., which can be strung together to add several more years to the sentence.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They know Japan deep down is a great country, or their daughter would never had come here. I wish them peace.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My heart goes out to them. They did not deserve this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have been following this murder case from the very beginning. It was one of the most cold blooded case involved a foreign citizen who lived in Japan.

I have heard that the Japanese prosecutor team got all solid phyical evidences against this killer, and he has NO chance to win this case and be free. Japan still believes in a death sentence in criminal case, that is good.

I believe the juststice will prevail for her and her entire family. Peace be with them while they are in trial in Tokyo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the posters in here who expect a death sentence don't seem to be familiar with sentencing practices by Japanese courts in murder trials.

To be fair though, why would they be?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Globalwatcher - As long as Ichihashi persists her death was accidental he will not receive the death penalty. And, as there is no firm evidence to state he did intend to kill her, he wil be charged with an accidental death. I doubt he will serve any more than sis or seven years in the pen. I hope I am wrong though.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"And, as there is no firm evidence to state he did intend to kill her..."

Dude, her body was laying mutilated in his bath tub! He refused the cops permission to search the bathroom, saying he would complain to their superiors if they did! As soon as they were gone, he moved her dismembered body to the cave opening overnight.

He is nothing but evil and should swing!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

vituoso agree with you.

In Japanese Jail there is around 110 people on death row, and less than 10% are there for killing one person. Those 10% though, are also charged with some other brutal crime like attempted murder of more than one other.

There is no reason to expect he will receive the death penalty. And why should he?

Just because she was a pretty white British female does not mean he should be treated any differently to any other Japanese murderer. It would be horrifically unfair if he gets the death penalty for killing lindsay, but every other tom dick and taro who kills their Japanese neighbour gets a few years in the slammer, at best.

In my opinion he will get a few years, and the final charge will be something like manslaughter 1, rather than murder 1 or 2.

Many will be disappointed, especially her family, but thats just the way the Japanese justice system works.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

bookowls - You're confusing Lindsay Hawker with Lucie Blackman.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Was thinking the same thing Cleo! Two dead foreign hostesses but very different people and situations. Her body was found in the bath tub outside on the balcony.

I hope he gets life (actually life, not 25 years that some countries have) as hanging is too good for him. Thing is though, he will just continue to say it was an accident. To be honest, I don't think he did mean to kill her. I think he was just so proud of himself that when she rejected him, he flipped out, raped her and killed her. She studied martial arts and I assume it was a bit of a show down and him beating the crap out of her after she put up a good fight.

Rest in peace and I hope the family can recover from this.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Whether he 'meant' to kill her or not, the fact remains he raped her, mutilated her and stuffed her body in a bathful of sand: while the rape may have been 'heat of the moment' stuff, what he did to her after was premeditated and cold-blooded. Leaving aside the fact that people who go around killing in the heat of the moment need to be put somewhere safe where they can have no more such moments, I think Japanese law comes down pretty heavy on mutilation and abandonment of a corpse - especially so now that they have ordinary people serving as lay judges.

I hope he never gets to walk the streets again.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

tmarie; Hawker was not a hostess.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And I hope Lindsay's poor Mum and Dad get to look him in the eye in court.

Though I don't suppose they'll be allowed close enough to spit in it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To be honest, it is stories like this that make me think twice about recommending friends or relatives (especially women) to come to work in Japan or even visit for short periods of time. Not that it is a dangerous country, butt if something were to happen, one can't expect the police and the legal system in Japan to mete out justice in a satisfactory manner. Regardless of race and gender, the judges (and powers-that-be) in Japan are so removed from reality there is no way to expect what will occur in this or any other trial. Sad but true.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My bad, she wasn't! I was also thinking of another hostess case!

Cleo, I 100% agree with you but the thing is, I don't think the murder was premeditated. Huge difference in sentencing between rape and 1st degree vs rape and 2nd/manslaughter and I am sure that is what his lawyer will point out. I also agree with you about mutilating, abandonment and don't forget, running from the cops for a few years but... this is Japan, she was a foreigner. I don't think we'll see the justice Lindsay and her family deserve. Sadly. Rape her is usually only a few years anyway. Add that with the other charges and he might get 10 years.

That all being said, this was a very high profile case internationally so hoping that will come into play and he won't get off with the min sentencing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nothing will bring back their daughter, but justice must be served.

Let's see if all the outrage directed at foreign perps, will be matched on the other side of the coin.

She didn't deserve what she got, intentional, or not.

What will he get?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

one can't expect the police and the legal system in Japan to mete out justice in a satisfactory manner

You can't expect the police to mete out justice in any manner, nor should you expect them to, it isn't their job.

this is Japan, she was a foreigner. I don't think we'll see the justice Lindsay and her family deserve. Sadly. ...That all being said, this was a very high profile case internationally so hoping that will come into play

I don't think her being a foreigner should influence the verdict or sentencing either way. He should get what he deserves for doing what he did. The verdict depends on the evidence, which is pretty much rock solid. I would not like to think that the sentence in this or any other case was affected by how much or little the foreign press took an interest.

I don't think the murder was premeditated......Rape her is usually only a few years anyway. Add that with the other charges and he might get 10 years.

The Japanese man who killed the student in Chiba during a robbery was apparently too stupid to premeditate anything, but he was given the death penalty because the murder was compounded by arson and rape. Not that I approve of the death penalty.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"I hope they seek true justice and not state sanctioned murder."

That's a pretty tricky statement. Whose definition of 'justice'? Yours?

In the case of murder, premeditated or otherwise I can see perfectly well why someone would want to see justice meted out in an equivalent dose sans moral handwringing and pontification.

I can say without reservation that if my daugher were to suffer the way Lindsay Hawker did at the hands if this animal, the state wouldn't be able to waste time or money to put him to death. Becase I'd kill him myself. And I doubt there are very many parents on this earth who wouldn't do the same.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ichihashi is just some knucklehead Akiba otaku who took things one step too far and now he's hiding behind Japan's twisted justice system which could reward him with accidental death and abandonment of corpse which will give him a few years at best. The Hawkers are expecting the wheels of justice to move as they do in England, they are in for a rude surprise. I say 5 years max.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If he had just killed her instead of first raping her and then killing her then I would consider it possible that it wasn't premeditated. This guy had time to consider whether he would murder her. Besides, after his evil deed, he took efforts to conceal the crime.

"I hope they seek true justice and not state sanctioned murder."

This is a pretty sick view of justice in the case of premeditated murder. If her had simply come to the realization that he needed to kill her while he was raping her, that is premeditated. Any justice system should subject a convicted criminal to a penalty equal to - no more and no less - than the crime itself. Execution after a properly regulated trial is in no sense of the word - murder. To call it that is just a willful misuse of words to suit someones personal morality.

If her is the murderer, then it is the responsibility of the prosecutors to prove it without doubt. This is usually very difficult to do but is the only thing that should spare him from the death penalty.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This guy had time to consider whether he would murder her.

Perhaps we have read different things as I thought she would beaten to death in a fight for her life. I can't see how he would have the time to consider murdering her if he was fighting her.

Cleo, I agree that her being a foreigner shouldn't come into play. But sadly, it does. There are numerous cases of Japanese who kill foreigners getting off rather easy. The case of the DJ from a few years back comes to mind. There are also numerous cases where foreigners get max penalties for crimes that reg Japanese get a slap on the wrist for. I am hoping this is not the case here and hoping they throw the book at him but I won't hold my breath.

They have solid evidence that he killed her but not solid evidence that it was premeditated. I think he will go for accidental - which as I stated, I think may have been the case. However, I haven't heard all the details and would rather not. Either way, I hope the guy gets locked up for life and that both families can rebuild their lives.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wolfpack, how do you know he didn't kill her and then rape her?

Sources please...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And, as there is no firm evidence to state he did intend to kill her, he wil be charged with an accidental death. I doubt he will serve any more than sis or seven years in the pen.

Are you telling me this killer had no intension to kill her? It was rather accidental? If the prosecutor team can successfully prove the INTENSION, I hope so, he will be tried for death sentence.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That poor man. He is never going to get what he wants; his daughter back. And for her to be taken away in such a cruel and pathetic manner. Total darkness.

My thoughts are with him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wolfpack, how do you know he didn't kill her and then rape her? Sources please...

Are you insinuating that he did kill her and then rape her? If so...

Sources please....

You seem to be assuming that he has already been convicted.

Since a verdict has yet to be passed, he is innocent until proven guilty. As remote as it may seem, there is still a possibility that Tatsuya Ichihashi could be found completely innocent of his alleged crimes. And that is 100% true whether you like it or not.

Please hold your tongue until a verdict is passed. After which, if proven guilty, your indulgence will not be opposed. ;-)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

...Japan's twisted justice system which could reward him with accidental death and abandonment of corpse which will give him a few years at best.

CapnSinbad, I hope you are not right. Strangling is not "accidental" - it can only be considered a wilful killing. In Britain a sexually aggravated murder has a starting tarrif of about 30 years in prison. I would hope that Japan, even at its most indulgent, would still have to impose half that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@tmarieJUL.

To be honest, I don't think he did mean to kill her. I think he was just so proud of himself that when she rejected him, he flipped out, raped her and killed her.

hmm.... he shaved her head, right? If done while she was alive it's hard to imagine he expected to let her walk with a, "Don't tell anyone I raped you and shaved your hair off, okay?"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I assume that was done when he was trying to hide the body.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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