Saturday 24 March 2018

Nicola's killer is denied release after failing to show any real remorse

Nicola Furlong was murdered in 2012 by Richard Hinds
Nicola Furlong was murdered in 2012 by Richard Hinds

Officials have refused to release the killer of Wexford student Nicola Furlong (21) - even though he reached the end of his minimum five-year term two months ago.

The decision came just months after prison documents revealed that Memphis-born Richard Hinds had failed to be rehabilitated behind bars.

The documents - obtained by the Sunday World - showed that, despite undergoing a five-year "regime of classes and interviews" at Fuchu Prison designed to foster a sense of remorse, Japanese experts only have a moderate expectation that Hinds can be rehabilitated.

It is now open to authorities to keep him locked up until November 2022.

Nicola's dad Andrew said he was happy that Japanese authorities had exercised their right to keep Hinds in continuing custody, and hopes now he will be remanded in custody for the maximum 10-year term allowable.

"The thought he could have been out living his life at 24 years of age was sickening to me," said Mr Furlong.


"I have never believed a man capable of doing what that monster did to my daughter is capable of changing.

"He preyed on an unconscious and helpless girl, my beautiful Nicola, and subjected her to a horrific death.

"The Japanese authorities let us down when they gave him a sentence of just five to 10 years for Nicola's murder. I hope they will not let us down again."

He added that even experts assessing Hinds in prison in Japan had little or no confidence in the work they had done to change him.

Shocking details of the horrific ordeal suffered by Wexford student Nicola and a close friend at the hands of predator Hinds and date-rape accomplice James Blackston emerged during the trial in March 2013.

Nicola was found strangled in the Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo on May 24, 2012.

Despite Hinds giving evidence on his own behalf, in which he lied repeatedly about the events leading up to Nicola's murder, the musician was exposed as a liar who intended raping his unconscious victim after carrying her back to his hotel room - and who murdered Nicola when she called out for help.

Blackston, a 23-year-old dancer, was jailed for a sexual assault on Nicola's friend.

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