The man accused of murdering Irish student Nicola Furlong in a Tokyo hotel last May has admitted for the first time that he put his two hands around her neck.
Referring to the moments just before Nicola passed out from strangulation, Richard Hinds, who pleads not guilty to murder, said, “At this time, I had both hands on her neck.”
When asked by the prosecution why he had not mentioned this in questioning by his defence lawyer yesterday, Mr Hinds, 19, said, “Well, he didn’t ask.”
He then claimed that since Ms Furlong was killed in the early hours of last May 24th, he had always said he had used two hands.
“I maybe wasn’t heard correctly by others, but I have been saying this from the beginning of the investigation nine months ago,” he said.
Asked also to confirm that he had told a court last July, that he had “not used both hands”, Mr Hinds said. “I don’t remember exactly, it was many days ago. He also said, “Maybe there was an error somewhere.”
Mr Hinds continued to maintain that he had only pressed “lightly” on her neck.
“Why did she die then?,” asked the prosecutor.
“I have no explanation for it either,” Mr Hinds said.
Asked whether he understood the testimony last week of two pathologists who said that Ms Furlong died from powerful strangulation that last several minutes, he said “If I misjudged my pressure, I humbly accept it, if I misjudged it.”
Mr Hinds claims that he put his hands on Ms Furlong’s neck to calm her down and that she wanted him to do it to give her sexual pleasure.
Asked if he knew how much suffering his statements in court caused the Furlongh family he said, “No, they came across the world to court to know what happened.”
The defendant made no apology to the Furlong family who have listened his testimony portraying their daughter as a sexually aggressive woman who looked to be choked and had shown willingness to go to the hotel with him where she was found dead on May 24th.
Footage from a hotel CCTV camera shows Ms Furlong apparently unconscious being pushed in a wheelchair into Mr Hinds hotel room number 1427, about two and a half hours before she was found dead.
The court also replayed some of the CCTV footage from a taxi that brought Mr Hinds, his friend James Blackston and Ms Furlong and her friend from a bar to the Keio Plaza hotel where Ms Furlong was killed.
In the taxi, the men are talking crudely about having sex with the women, who are apparently unconscious in the back seat.
Mr Hinds asked if he was denying that his statement “we are gonna f**k them, we’re gonna f**k them, that’s it and then send them on their way,” meant that the men planned to have sex with the women. He said, “that is not what I meant when I made the statement or whoever made the statement.”
He said “we took them back to the hotel in general just so they can rest.”
Mr Blackston has already been tried for assaulting Ms Furlong’s Irish friend and will be sentenced tomorrow. Like Mr Hinds, he has argued that he had no intention of having sex and that the woman, in his case Ms Furlong’s friend, initiated sex with him.
In today’s session, when asked by the prosecutor to explain blood stains on both beds in his hotel room that matched Ms Furlong’s DNA, Mr Hinds said that Ms Furlong had vomited blood on one bed and that the other stains “were possibly from her touching the bed.”
When questioned about his testimony that Ms Furlong initiated sex with him after awakening from her unconsciousness, Mr Hinds described himself four times as a “gentleman”.
Asked why he had not taken off his clothes if the events were as he alleged, he said, “I am a gentleman.” Asked why did he testify that he had not touched Ms Furlong’s breasts or genital area, he replied, “Like I said, I am a gentleman.”
“Does a gentleman put pressure on a person’s neck,” asked the prosecutor. “That doesn’t have anything to do with being a gentleman,” replied Mr Hinds.
The trial continues this afternoon with cross-examination of Mr Hinds by the trial judges.