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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hawker's father urges harshest punishment


Staff writer

CHIBA — Should Tatsuya Ichihashi be found guilty of the March 2007 rape and murder of Briton Lindsay Ann Hawker, he should face the harshest penalty possible, the victim's father told the court Friday.

"I wish absolute maximum punishment permissible in this country," said William Hawker, who took the witness stand at the fourth session of Ichihashi's lay judge trial before the Chiba District Court. He did not mention capital punishment, the heaviest penalty under the law.

"We are devastated by his actions. Our family will never be the same," Hawker said, adding that Ichihashi should be punished without mercy for "the evil, evil, evil things he did to my defenseless daughter."

Ichihashi, 32, is specifically charged with rape resulting in death, murder, and abandoning the victim's body.

He has testified that he raped the victim but has denied intending to kill her and claimed only that she died when he tried to stop her from escaping.

On Friday when he was cross-examined by prosecutors, Ichihashi admitted he put Hawker's body in a portable bathtub on the balcony of his Chiba apartment and covered the corpse with soil he bought from a store.

When questioned why, Ichihashi said: "I do remember that I put Lindsay's body in the bathtub and put it on the balcony and put the soil I bought over her, but I don't know why I did that."

Having observed Ichihashi's testimony Thursday and Friday, William Hawker told the court he felt the two days had been a "showpiece." Ichihashi replied immediately and with substance when his lawyers questioned him but paused and often asked prosecutors to repeat what they had asked him, Hawker said.

"To Ichihashi and his defense team, this is like a play to them," Hawker said. "He has no remorse whatsoever."



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