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Dublin: -1°C Saturday 17 April 2021

'It's very, very hard. No parent should have to go through it'

Nicola Furlong’s father Andrew speaks out after the man accused of his daughter’s murder gives evidence in court.

Nicola Furlong with her sister Andrea
Nicola Furlong with her sister Andrea
Image: Screengrab from RTÉ

THE FAMILY OF Nicola Furlong will give victim impact statements to a Japanese court tomorrow as the trial of the man accused of her murder continues.

It will be an opportunity to tell the court “our feelings of what we have gone through since 24 May and the last week and a day”, according to Nicola’s father Andrew. “It’s our way of getting our point forward.”

Nicola’s mother Angie and her sister Andrea will both read “victim opinions” to the three judges and six jurors.

Andrew Furlong told Morning Ireland that it is “very important” to them.

He also said listening to the testimony of the accused, 20-year-old Richard Hinds, has been “very, very hard”.

“It was very hard to listen to, very hard to accept…We knew that we would have to sit and listen. We knew what was going to come out. That doesn’t make it easier to actually hear it. No parent should have to go through it.”

The defence team have argued that Japanese police changed the accused’s evidence. According to RTÉ’s reporter in Tokyo, Hinds told the court that the deceased had asked him to place his hand on her neck and he did so for 30 seconds. Lawyers claim this was changed in a police statement to read “two or three minutes”.

The court also heard that a conversation between Hinds and his friend James Blackston in the taxi to the Keio Plaza hotel, where Nicola died by suffocation, was “just meaningless talk”.

Hinds has denied murder. A verdict is expected on 19 March.

Nicola Furlong was a native of Wexford and an international business student in DCU. She was studying at the Takasaki City University of Economics for the third year of her degree.

Her family travelled to Japan last week to attend the proceedings. Andrew said they continue to be “generally happy with how things are going”.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are active.

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