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Man convicted of abducting Lucie

16 December 08 06:26 GMT

A Tokyo businessman has been convicted of abducting the British bar hostess Lucie Blackman.

Last year, Joji Obara was acquitted of killing the 21-year-old of Sevenoaks, Kent, but the Tokyo High Court now says he did kidnap her in Tokyo in 2000.

Her dismembered body was found seven months later concealed in a cave.

The 56-year-old businessman's sentence will remain unchanged as he was given a life sentence last year for raping nine other women, one of whom died.

Last year, a Japanese court cleared Obara of raping and killing Ms Blackman, a former air hostess.

A judge said there was no proof Obara alone was responsible for her death.

At the time, Lucie's mother, Jane Steare, said she was heartbroken and in disbelief at the the verdict.

On Monday, the High Court dismissed that ruling and said that although there was not sufficient evidence to convict Obara of murder, he had mutilated Ms Blackman's body.

"The court recognises that the defendant is responsible for damaging and abandoning the body," Judge Hiroshi Kadono said.

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