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Backpacker pleads guilty to posing naked on sacred mountain

NewsBy Karl Doyle
Eleanor Hawkins has pleaded guilty to a public nuisance offence
Eleanor Hawkins has pleaded guilty to a public nuisance offence

A young British woman blamed for triggering an earthquake by posing naked on a sacred mountain has pleaded guilty to a public nuisance offence, it has been reported.

Backpacker Eleanor Hawkins, 23, admitted the offence during an appearance at Kota Kinabalu Magistrates' Court in Malaysia, the BBC and Sky News confirmed.

Authorities have said she is to blame for bringing on the earthquake that devastated the country by offending the ‘mountain spirit’.

Miss Hawkins is believed to be part of a group of 10 people who stripped naked before taking photos at the peak of Mount Kinabalu on May 30.

Sabah state deputy chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan in Malaysia blamed the earthquake six days later on the tourists for showing "disrespect to the sacred mountain".

He has said a special ritual will be conducted to "appease the mountain spirit".

Hawkins, an aeronautical engineering graduate from Derby, was arrested at Tawau airport on Tuesday as she was flying from the island of Borneo to the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Speaking after the case, her father Timothy Hawkins said: "We have not had contact with the lawyer yet, so we don't know the precise details of what happened."

He declined to comment on whether he saw television footage of his daughter, her face covered, being ushered into the court building by guards at around 8am UK time.

Hawkins could find out today if she will be jailed for up three months for the offence.

UPDATE:12:26:

A British woman blamed for triggering an earthquake after stripping on top of a sacred Malaysian mountain has been fined £1,000 and sentenced to three days in jail.

Backpacker Eleanor Hawkins, 23, and three other western tourists, who were also fined, have already served the time, the BBC and Sky News reported.

She had admitted to the public nuisance offence during an appearance at Kota Kinabalu Magistrates' Court in Malaysia today.