CHIBA (majirox news) — Tatsuya Ichihashi told the Chiba District Court on Monday he was responsible for the 2007 death of English teacher Lindsay Hawker, but denied he intended to take her life.
“I did not intend to murder Lindsay,” the 32-year-old defendant told Presiding Judge Shinya Hotta. “But I am responsible for her death and I intend to take responsibility for my actions. I raped her. I scared her and killed her. I am truly, truly sorry.”
Prosecutors read out the indictment against Ichihashi. He is charged with having raped 22-year-old Hawker, punching her to the face, binding her hands and neck and choking her with murderous intent in actions that occurred at his apartment on or around March 25, 2007.
Ichihashi denies intending to kill the Briton, but admits to the other charges against him.
Hawker’s parents and sisters from Britain are attending the trial. Ichihashi entered the court and fell to his knees and bowed to the family in apology. Bill Hawker gazed contemptuously at the man accused of killing his daughter before gesturing toward him to stand, while his wife, Julia, refused to look in Ichihashi’s direction.
Ichihashi sparked a nationwide manhunt following Hawker’s death after he escaped through a cordon of police officers that had gone to his apartment to arrest him. He remained a fugitive for more than 2 1/2 years as he fled across the country before he was arrested in Osaka in October 2009 as he prepared to board a ferry bound for Okinawa.
CHIBA (majirox news) – Tatsuya Ichihashi’s murder trial opens at the Chiba District Court July 4 with his fate resting on whether the court decides he had murderous intent in the 2007 killing of Briton Lindsay Hawker.
Ichihashi, 32, is charged with a series of crimes including murder and rape resulting in death.
Hearings in the trial before a panel of judges are to continue at irregular intervals from July 4 to 12, and a ruling due to be handed down on July 21.
Ichihashi has, through one of his lawyers, admitted to involvement in taking Hawker’s life, but denied premeditated intent to do so and said he tried to resuscitate the English teacher after she lost consciousness.
Ichihashi was indicted for raping 22-year-old Hawker in his apartment in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, and then strangling her on or around March 25, 2007.Judges for the high-profile case were selected on June 28, with six selected, including lay judges, and a further three in reserve.
Ichihashi’s case has attracted attention globally, due to the victim’s nationality, and domestically, as he fled from police in the immediate wake of the alleged crime and remained a fugitive crisscrossing Japan over the following 2 1/2 years until he was eventually captured in Osaka in 2009.