[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 08:34 GMT 09:34 UK
Father 'shattered' by Lucie death
Tim Blackman
Tim Blackman said his family was shattered by Lucie's death
The father of murdered Lucie Blackman was left "shattered, empty and numb" by her killing, he has told a court.

Tim Blackman was speaking during the Tokyo trial of the man accused of his daughter's rape which led to her death.

He said his daughter, Sophie, 25, had attempted suicide and son Rupert, 22, needed constant medical attention since their sister's death six years ago.

Joji Obara, who was not in court, has denied any involvement in the death of the 21-year-old from Sevenoaks in Kent.

Ms Blackman's dismembered body was found seven months after she went missing.

Her father has travelled to Japan several times during the trial which has lasted three years, but this is the first time he has spoken to the court about the pain he and his family have suffered since his daughter's death.

Mr Blackman, from the Isle of Wight, told the court: "I see the pain and despair in the faces of Sophie and Rupert, knowing I can only comfort them with words as I worry how their future will be affected by the loss of their sister."

Lucie Blackman
Lucie Blackman's body was found seven months after she went missing

After Lucie's body was interred, Sophie Blackman "could no longer sustain the grief and trauma caused by the death of her beloved sister" and attempted suicide.

"Since then she has been under psychiatric observation and is currently an in-patient at a psychiatric unit," Mr Blackman said.

He said Rupert had also struggled to cope, failing university and needing medication and medical attention to stabilise his emotions.

Rupert had been "tortured" and "damaged" by the death.

Future dreams

As for himself, Mr Blackman, 52, said: "Her death has left me shattered, empty and numb as her precious life has been torn from me.

"I had dreamed of her wonderful future; her wedding day - the day she would have felt her most beautiful and most happy; the day she would give me my first grandchild, but now this will not happen."

He added he could not stop thinking of the moment when her life stopped.

"Was she in pain, was she terrified, did she call for me?" he asked.

Speaking later, he said he had welcomed the opportunity to speak about his daughter's death in court.

"In the Japanese legal system this does have a bearing on the degree of sentence handed down if the defendant is found guilty."

Mr Obara did not appear in court, Mr Blackman added.

"His defence team say that it was his view that the use of impact statements were being made to make him look like he was already guilty when he had not been proven guilty."




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Lucie Blackman's father speaks of his loss



RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific