The family of Nicola Furlong flew out to Japan last night for the trial into her killing in Tokyo last May.
The father of the DCU student, who was strangled and sexually assaulted in an upmarket Tokyo hotel, has spoken of the living nightmare the family has endured.
Andrew Furlong, Nicola’s mother Angie and her sister Andrea left for Japan, accompanied by their partners, last night, with one thing on their mind, justice for their beloved Nicola.
The trial begins this coming Monday and will run for two weeks, before breaking for several days. The court will give its ultimate judgment on Mar 19 in the case, which has had international coverage since news broke in May of the Irish student’s death.
Memphis musician Richard Hinds, aged 19, has denied a charge of murdering her.
Mr Furlong said: “I just want it over with; we’re just looking for justice, whether he gets one year or 20 years so long as he is not let go free.”
The Furlong family will be given the opportunity to speak to the court once the trial is over. They have already given victim impact statements which will be read to the jury at the hearing.
Mr Furlong said all three have been reliving what happened that fateful night in Tokyo every day.
“It’s like everyone who loses someone, it’s 24/7. I know more than most what it’s like as it was so sudden. They say time’s a healer but it just gives you an extra day to accept what’s happened.”
He said he still was not able to accept his beloved daughter was gone.
“I haven’t been able to visit the grave,” he said, adding that her room was preserved the way it was when she was home last, early in 2012.
“I have Nicola around me in whichever way I can. We will meet again some day; I am not accepting that she is gone for good. I got two tattoos recently, one of Nicola and one of Andrea. The bond is always there.”
He said Andrea is missing her sister “like mad”.
“There is no easy time any more. We aren’t the first and won’t be the last [to go through this]. You never know when you let them out into the world what will happen them.”
Yesterday he thanked everyone who has supported him and his family in the following months, right up until this week when he received a Mass card.
“People are thinking of us big time. The amount of support we have received has been overwhelming. It has gotten us through dark periods and I appreciate the support but you are still on your own at the end of the day. You go to bed at night and you just dream the same nightmare. You just wish you could wake up and it will be all over but it never is.”
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