killer walks free | 

Musician who murdered Nicola Furlong to be released from prison tonight after just 10 years

It’s understood he will met be met on his release by immigration officials and taken to Tokyo airport to be deported back to America

Nicola Furlong

Richard Hinds

Nicola Furlong and her mum Angela.

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

EVIL KILLER Richard Hinds is to be released from a Japanese prison later tonight – after serving 10 years in prison for the murder of Wexford student Nicola Furlong.

Sources say Hinds is set to be released from Fuchu Prison at 5am on Saturday Japanese time or 8 pm tonight Irish time.

It’s understood he will met be met on his release by immigration officials and taken to Tokyo airport to be deported back to America on the first available flight.

Hinds release after 10 years means he served the maximum sentence handed down by a Japanese court – which ordered that he serve between five and 10 years for the murder of innocent Nicola.

In 2013, the American musician was sentenced to 5–10 years in prison with labour for the murder of Nicola Furlong, a 21-year-old Wexford student.

Hinds strangled the Irish woman in 2012 after transporting her to his hotel room in Tokyo while she was unconscious.

The age of adulthood in Japan is 20.

Because Hinds was 19 when he murdered Nicola Furlong, he received a lighter prison sentence than he otherwise would have.

Another man, James Blackston, a 23-year-old dancer, was jailed for a sexual assault on Nicola’s friend. Blackston has since

been released.

Richard Hinds

Nicola, an international business student, was studying at Takasaki City University of Economics for the third year of her degree.

After a Nicki Minaj concert, the two Irish women socialised with the Americans at a bar and took a taxi to the Keio Plaza Hotel, where Nicola and her friend were staying.

The murder trial heard Nicola had a date-rape drug in her system at the time of her death

Earlier this month, Nicola's dad Andrew spoke about feeling helpless in the run up to the jail release.

“There's nothing I can do about it. It’s their laws. I can’t change it,” he said on 96FM’s The Opinion Line.

"It’s as raw today as it was 10 years ago,” he added.

The bereaved father recalled the day he learned of Nicola’s murder, telling listeners of how he saw gardaí pull up to his house unaware of the nightmare that was to come.

Nicola Furlong's family mark 10 years since brutal murder as killer due to walk free

“I invited them in thinking it was an unpaid fine or something. I wasn’t expecting what was coming.

“He said, ‘Are you the father of Nicola Rose Furlong?’ and I said, ‘Oh Christ, don’t tell me she’s been in an accident.’

“And he said, ‘No, it’s worse than that. She’s dead.’

“I screamed and shouted, ‘It couldn’t be. There must be some mistake, somebody must have gotten her passport and somebody else was dead.’

“We didn’t know how she died; we just knew she was dead. The embassy couldn’t give us any details at the time but then we got a call telling us she had been murdered.

“The Japanese Embassy kept it to themselves at first because they wanted to find out what they were doing, were they partying, were they using drugs.

Nicola Furlong and her mum Angela.

“The pain today is the same as it was then. Every single day.”

He said that Hinds showed “no remorse” during his trial as he issued a warning to other young women: “This spiking... it is happening.

“If you have to drug a woman to have something with them, there’s something severely wrong with you.”

Last month, Nicola's mother Angela opened up about the grief-stricken family’s horror at her killer’s impending release from prison.

"He’s counting down the days till his freedom when he gets on with his life and we still have to carry this burden every single day,” she told RTÉ.

Speaking about the moment she was told the news of her daughter’s death ,Angela said: "I just fell to the ground. There was a noise came out of me, it wasn't human. It was just a shock. It was horrendous.

"I'll never forget that morning, at that time we didn't know the circumstances surrounding it. When you hear of an accident you automatically think of a road traffic accident, and I was trying to think, was she on her bike?

"I then had to go up to Gorey and tell my parents that Nicola was gone. We didn't know that the circumstances for about two days.”

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