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A freezing silent hell for inmates

RICHARD Hinds is due to spend at least five years in Tokyo's Fuchu Prison, notorious for its harsh military conditions.

Foreign inmates are known to find prison life particularly difficult due to the language barrier.

Hinds will be forced to sleep on a mat and must share a communal bath.

He will spend much of his day in workhouses.

Prisoners are struck by the cold – with the heat switched on only when temperatures hit zero.

Japanese prisons are run like military camps. Inmates are for hours bound by silence and must walk behind prison guards like soldiers.

They are subject to strict strip searches and there are virtually no drugs dealt among prisoners.

Hinds will take part in educational and rehabilitation programmes as the prison authorities assess his level of remorse.

He will also be offered the opportunity to work in a small factory, earning wages of around €40 per month.

The programmes Hinds will take part in place great emphasis on understanding the pain and grief of families like the Furlongs.