Japanese man gets life for death of British woman

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A Japanese man was on Thursday sentenced to life imprisonment over the death of British teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker in 2007, whose battered body was found in a sand-filled bathtub.

Public prosecutors had demanded life imprisonment for Tatsuya Ichihashi, 32, who was charged with raping and murdering the 22-year-old English teacher at his apartment.

Ichihashi -- who spent more than two and a half years on the run after the 2007 crime and had plastic surgery to evade capture -- admitted raping and killing Hawker but had told the court earlier this month said he took her life accidentally.

Hawker's parents took part in the trial of Ichihashi that took place between July 4 and 12 at the Chiba court, including taking the witness stand.

Their daughter Lindsay, from a village near Coventry in central England, was 22 years old when her body -- naked and bound at the wrists and ankles with plastic cord -- was found in a bathtub filled with sand on the balcony of Ichihashi's apartment.

The autopsy showed she died of suffocation, and prosecutors said Ichihashi strangled her after the rape.

© 2011 AFP

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