Nicola’s dad Andrew said Christmas is one of the most heart-breaking times of the years for him as Nicola’s birthday falls on December 17th
Nicola’s dad Andrew told the Sunday World how Christmas is one of the most heart-breaking times of the years for him as Nicola’s birthday falls on December 17th and she loved spending the holidays with her family.
“No matter where she was she would have been at home now for Christmas,” Andrew said.
“Instead it’s him who’ll be with his family this Christmas and its Nicola who was taken away from us forever.”
Killer Richard Hinds was released from Fuchu Prison on November 19th after serving 10 years in prison.
He was found guilty in 2013 of strangling the Co Wexford woman (21) the previous year.
Hinds was transferred to Japanese immigration officials and deported back to his family in Memphis, Tennessee, on a commercial flight.
Hinds’s family has remained silent since the 2013 verdict and has never contacted the Furlongs.
Hinds, a travelling musician then aged 19, admitted he strangled Ms Furlong in room 1427 of the Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo, claiming that she wordlessly indicated she wanted rough sex.
His sentence of “not less than five and no more than 10 years,” with labour was the maximum allowed in Japan because he was a minor.
He served the full term in Fuchu Prison after warders noted he had shown no remorse for his crime.
Documents previously obtained by the Sunday World showed how during Hinds incarceration he was classified a “category-three prisoner”, meaning the prison’s authorities believed he had only a “moderate expectation” of rehabilitation back into society.
James Blackston, a dancer and choreographer who was convicted of sexually assaulting Ms Furlong’s friend during the taxi ride to the Keio Plaza, was freed in 2015 after serving three years.
He returned to Los Angeles where he was married last year.
Passing sentence in 2013, lead judge Masaharu Ashizawa said Hinds had showed no remorse and that his statements had “dishonoured” his victim.
Judge Ashizawa said that the Furlong family’s demand for harsher sentencing was “very understandable”.
Speaking after Hinds release from Fuchu Prison, Andrew said he would never forgive his daughter’s killer.
“The fact that he had to stay in prison for the full ten years says a lot … it tells you he wasn’t exactly the best prisoner, doesn’t it?
“If he had shown genuine sorrow for what he did to my daughter, he would have been let out earlier.
“For me, he should never again have been released. But it’s Japan, it’s their laws that are being applied and there is nothing I can do to stop this happening.”
Under Japanese law, the age at which one is considered an adult is 20. Because Hinds was 19 when he murdered Nicola, he received a lighter prison sentence than he otherwise would have.
DCU student Nicola was found strangled in the Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district on May 24, 2012.