A court sentenced Tatsuya Ichihashi to life imprisonment Thursday over the death of British woman Lindsay Hawker in 2007.
Public prosecutors had demanded life imprisonment with hard labor for Ichihashi, 32, who was charged with raping and murdering the 22-year- old English conversation teacher at his apartment.
Ichihashi has denied murdering her at his apartment in Chiba, east of Tokyo, around March 25, 2007, but has admitted he caused her death. He apologized to Lindseys family in court for what he did.
In Japan, life imprisonment — technically termed imprisonment without a fixed period — is the second-heaviest criminal punishment. It does not necessarily mean the inmate will be incarcerated for the rest of his life. Under the Penal Code, the inmate may be given parole after serving a minimum of 10 years.
The family of British woman Lindsay Hawker, who was slain in Japan in 2007, arrived at Narita airport on Wednesday, a day before the verdict is to be handed in the trial of the man accused of her murder.
The victim’s father, Bill Hawker, told reporters upon arriving from London with his wife and their two other daughters that he is satisfied with the trial so far but expressed anxiety before the verdict, which will be decided by three professional and six citizen judges.
Bill Hawker, 58, and his wife Julia, 54, participated in the lay judge trial of Tatsuya Ichihashi, that took place between July 4 and 12 at the Chiba District Court, including taking the witness stand.
William Hawker, whose daughter Lindsay was killed in Japan in 2007, called Friday for the maximum sentence available in the country to be imposed on Tatsuya Ichihashi, charged with raping and murdering her.
Hawker, who took the stand at the Chiba District Court, told judges that the 32-year-old defendant showed "no mercy" when he killed the young Briton.
Hawker glowered at Ichihashi and expressed his anger, saying, "It will never be the same again."
Tatsuya Ichihashi, charged over the killing of British woman Lindsay Hawker in Japan in 2007, pleaded not guilty to murder Monday on the first day of a lay judge trial at the Chiba District Court, while admitting to a number of lesser charges.
Ichihashi, 32, admitted to raping and suffocating Hawker, then 22, in his apartment as well as dumping her body in a bathtub of the balcony around March 25, 2007, but denied deliberately killing her.
Lindsays parents — William Hawker and his wife Julia — arrived in Japan on Sunday to take the witness stand in the trial.