Nicola's life worth more than Hinds sentence, say family

Nicola's life worth more than Hinds sentence, say family

Nicola Furlong's family have said their daughter’s life was worth more than the five to 10 years in jail her killer will serve.

US musician Richard Hinds, 19, from Memphis, Tennessee, was found guilty of killing 21-year-old Nicola Furlong in a hotel bedroom in Tokyo on May 24 last year.

A court ruled that he had strangled the exchange student with a towel or tank top in the Keio Plaza hotel in the city’s Shinjuku district.

Ms Furlong’s mother Angela said: “Nicola’s life was worth more than that.”

She added: “It’s good that they (judges) cleared her name. Nicola has done nothing wrong. It was all him and his lies that brought us out here.

“We still don’t know the truth of what happened in that room but we know Nicola did nothing wrong, we knew that coming out anyway.”

Hinds was on trial as a minor. The death penalty was not an option for judges and possible sentence was limited to up to 10 years.

Nicola’s father Andrew said the family had been made aware that possible sentences were limited.

“When we found out he was on trial as a minor we knew it was not going to be a hanging,” he said.

'No remorse'

Hinds stood silently as he was found guilty of strangling the student in what the presiding judge called a “vicious” attack.

His evidence was also described as at times not credible, and irrational.

The court ruled that Hinds had tried to taint Nicola's memory and that he had shown no remorse.

Hinds and another American were accused of taking Nicola, 21, and one of her friends to the hotel after they had passed out in a bar.

The Tokyo District Court ruled that Hinds strangled Nicola to keep her quiet when she regained consciousness in his hotel room.

A second American man, James Blackston, a 23-year-old dancer from Los Angeles, was seen with Hinds bringing Nicola and her unnamed friend unconscious into the hotel on CCTV footage which was played to the court.

He was convicted last week of sexually assaulting the second girl and sentenced to three years in jail.

Nicola’s sister Andrea said she felt let down by the Japanese criminal justice system.

“I’m absolutely disgusted and so angry and so hurt,” she said. “We had so much faith in the Japanese doing justice four us and I don’t feel we got it.”

Background to the case.

More on this topic

Nicola Furlong family set to sue Tokyo hotelNicola Furlong family set to sue Tokyo hotel

Nicola's dad: Kindness of strangers left us speechlessNicola's dad: Kindness of strangers left us speechless

Furlong family: Hinds sentence 'a travesty'Furlong family: Hinds sentence 'a travesty'

Richard Hinds guilty of Furlong murder, sentenced to five years minimumRichard Hinds guilty of Furlong murder, sentenced to five years minimum

More in this Section

The Lotto results are in...The Lotto results are in...

Flight diverts to Shannon with suspected fire on boardFlight diverts to Shannon with suspected fire on board

Irish tug sails over a third of the way to Canada to tow crippled cargo ship to safetyIrish tug sails over a third of the way to Canada to tow crippled cargo ship to safety

Two arrested in connection with murder of Malcolm McKeownTwo arrested in connection with murder of Malcolm McKeown


Lifestyle

It hasn’t been the ideal summer for observing the skies, but as we move into September we live in that almost annual hope of an Indian summer, writes Niall Smith.Skymatters: Enjoy the last of the summer stars and check out 'Vega'

Actually the lights were on when I got dressed this morning, says Luke Rix-Standing.11 things you’ll only know if you have no sense of style

Robert Hume unveils the Irishwoman who became the world’s first car accident fatality.Did you know an Irishwoman was the world’s first car accident fatality ... in 1869

Meet Lisa O’Doherty, the chief sommelier at The K Club.You've Been Served: Lisa O'Doherty of The K Club on life as a chief sommelier

More From The Irish Examiner