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.
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.
In one of the biggest man hunts in Japanese history, a Japanese man suspected of killing a British girl has been caught. Lindsay Hawker’s Killer has been caught . Back in early 2007 a British girl by the name of Lindsey Hawker was found dead. Her naked body was found buried in a sand/soil-filled bathtub on the apartment balcony of Tatsuya Ichihashi. She had been bound and gagged with plastic ties and scarves, with one of her hands lying outside the mixture.
There were reports that a person looking similar to the murder suspect had undergone plastic surgery earlier this month, which intensified the hunt. It was reported that Ichihashi had undergone plastic surgery on at least two occasions, in Nagoya and Fukuoka, to remove two moles on his cheek, add a fold to his eyelids, thin both his lips, and to increase the height of his nose. Police released a post-operation photograph to the press provided by the surgeon that completed the surgery for the killer. This led to Lindsay Hawkers killer being spotted and caught while trying to catch a ferry to Okinawa.
The family has expressed their feelings to the news and our hearts go out to them. Lindsay father said he was glad that he could go to his daughter’s grave and tell her that her killer had been captured.