Furlongs want Hinds to remain in Japan jail

Nicola Furlong’s mother has said she wants to see her daughter’s murderer serve his sentence in a Japanese prison instead of being moved to more lenient conditions in his native US.

Angela Furlong said the family were unaware that 19-year-old Richard Hinds could legally apply to exit the military-style Japanese regime.

She told TV3’s Ireland AM that her family were told at the first family court hearing in Japan last summer that Hinds could face up to 30 years in prison or the death penalty.

Ms Furlong yesterday said she never knew US citizens convicted of murder were entitled to transfer to an American prison.

“It was never mentioned. It is the first I have heard of it. I would prefer him to stay where he is because I believe he is going to do hard time in Japan.

“I would have liked him to do more than 10 years. He is going to have a tough time in the Japanese prison. He is told where to sit, how to sit, he can’t speak.”

She said the family were taken aback by the leniency of the 5-10-year sentence Hinds received last week because they had been told at an earlier court hearing last summer that he would be treated as an adult.

“We were expecting more. When Andrew [Nicola’s father], Andrea [Nicola’s sister], and I went out in July it was a family court, and in the family court the ruling was he would be tried as an adult and at the end of it — I know because I wrote it down on a note — that he could get five to 15 years and zero to 30 years with an undetermined release date and death.

“We were expecting a strong sentence when we went out. On the Tuesday, myself and Andrew asked what was the strongest sentence we could hope for. They explained it would be between five and 10.

“For good behaviour he can be out in five years. He is a convicted murderer now and he has to live with that for the rest of his life.”

However, Ms Furlong said she was never in favour of her daughter’s killer getting the death penalty.

“I don’t believe in a life for a life. I really, really don’t. There are two families suffering already.

“Why bring more suffering on the other family? We have to live with our pain, We won’t see Nicola again.”

She also confirmed the family are taking legal action against the Japanese hotel where Nicola was killed.

They plan to sue over the manner in which staff at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo transferred an unconscious Nicola in a wheelchair to Hinds’ hotel room.

“There was two staff members in the lift with them,” said Ms Furlong. “They knew what was going on. The hotel got the wheelchairs for the guys. [Nicola and her friend] were two unregistered guests.”


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