Lindsay’s killer fails in his bid to overturn life sentence

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A MAN who raped and killed a teacher from Brandon before dumping her body in a bath filled with sand has lost an appeal against his life sentence.

Japanese citizen Tatsuya Ichihashi was jailed in July last year for the murder in 2007 of Lindsay Hawker, 22.

At the appeal, his lawyers argued the sentence was too harsh and repeated the claim made that he had suffocated Miss Hawker accidentally.

But judges at Tokyo High Court rejected the argument and upheld the sentence.

Miss Hawker’s family, who did not attend the hearing, said in a statement: “We are relieved that the original decision was upheld and that Ichihashi’s appeal was refused.”

At the time of his trial Ichihashi admitted raping and killing Miss Hawker but said she died by accident when he tried to muffle her screams.

He was on the run for two years and eight months after the death of Miss Hawker and was finally arrested in Osaka in November 2009.

Prosecutors at his trial argued the murder was premeditated and he had strangled Miss Hawker after raping her. They repeated this argument at his appeal and said the life term was justified.

After the judges rejected Ichihashi’s appeal, the presiding judge read a statement from Miss Hawker’s family in which they said they believed the killer had shown no remorse for his actions.