Page last updated at 21:05 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Father looking forward to trial

Lindsay's mother Julia Hawker (left),her father Bill (middle) and her sister Lisa (right)
The family campaigned daily to keep the murder appeal in the public eye

The father of teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker has told how he wants to look the murder suspect in the eye.

Miss Hawker's body was found in a bath tub filled with sand in Tatsuya Ichihashi's flat in Tokyo in March 2007.

He left the flat as police entered it and had been on the run ever since. Mr Ichihashi was arrested in Osaka earlier, the Foreign Office said.

Miss Hawker's father Bill said: "I want to see him across the court room. She was just trying to help him.

"He wanted English lessons and pestered and pestered her until she agreed. She met him in a cafe in a public place, those were the terms of the lessons."

'Deep rooted hatred'

Her sister Lisa said she "hated" Mr Ichihashi, adding: "I dread to think what would happen to me if I ever got hold of him.

"It's a deep rooted hatred that has been eating away at me for two years and eight months. I hope now that he has been arrested that will start to ease and I can begin to move on with my life."

When we saw last week that he had undergone surgery we knew then that was a golden opportunity
Julia Hawker

Mr Hawker said after "bungling" the start of the investigation, Japanese police had worked very hard on the case.

He said: "They've come in for a lot of criticism but they never gave up they had over 100 officers on the case, that wouldn't be the case in this country.

"They had a lot of pressure on them from the Japanese public who wanted him to be caught immediately and they poured through hundreds of hours of CCTV."

His wife Julia said she had worked every day to keep the murder appeal in the Japanese public eye.

"I emailed politicians, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the embassy, our local MP, the police, the press, various friends in Japan.

"We just tried constantly to keep the fact that Ichihashi had still not been caught in the public limelight because we knew that was the only way he was going to be caught," she said.

"I knew that it would need somebody in Japan to be brave enough to come forward and say that they had seen him and that was the lead that we needed.

"When we saw last week that he had undergone surgery we knew then that was a golden opportunity.

"They had got new images of him. The surgeon had come forward and we just thought to ourselves that this is going to be it.

"It was the break we had been waiting for," said Mr Hawker.

Print Sponsor

Japan bathtub murder suspect held
10 Nov 09 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
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