Sunday 22 October 2017

Furlong family to sue hotel where Nicola was killed

21/3/13 Andrew, Andrea and Angela Furlong, family of murdered Nicola Furlong, arrive home from Japan following the trial. Picture: Arthur Carron/Collins
21/3/13 Andrew, Andrea and Angela Furlong, family of murdered Nicola Furlong, arrive home from Japan following the trial. Picture: Arthur Carron/Collins
Nicola Furlong’s father Andrew Furlong, mother Angela and sister Andrea (centre), leave court after the sentencing

Cormac McQuinn and Paul Murphy in Tokyo

THE family of murdered Irish woman Nicola Furlong intend to sue the Tokyo hotel where she was killed.

Arriving back in Dublin Airport last night, her father Andrew confirmed that the family will take a civil action for negligence against the Keio Plaza Hotel where Nicola's killer – American musician Richard Hinds – strangled her in his room.

His trial, which saw him jailed for up to 10 years for Nicola's murder, heard how he had brought her to his room in an unconscious state in a wheelchair provided by hotel staff.

Mr Furlong, from Wexford, said: “If they (the hotel) had done what they should have done, Nicola mightn't be dead.”

He said that the family intended to sue the hotel for “negligence” and that they would begin the process now that they were home in Ireland.

Nicola's sister Andrea said: “We need to get home first and just unwind and then we'll start all over again.”

The Keio Plaza Hotel has denied that it broke Japanese law by allowing her killer to bring the Irish student to his room while unconscious.

The family returned home last night after their three-week ordeal and 26 hours of flights from Tokyo.

Andrea said “the real grieving can start now”, while her mother Angela said that the family had been “focused on going to Japan, getting justice for Nicola and keeping her name as sacred as it is”.

She added: “We're home now, it's just a huge relief but at the same time I think in the coming days we are going to hit that wall, we're going to start grieving properly. We need to grieve.” Mr Furlong said: “We could go into the verdict and all that but there's no point – we've said all we can say.

“It was a long three weeks.

We're delighted to be home and can't wait to get home to our own beds.”

He said the family had a bottle of champagne which “we're going to devour tonight in triumph," with Angela adding: “Pink champagne for Nicola.”

Angela said she would be visiting Nicola's grave in the morning and that she was told there were “loads of fresh flowers left up there”.

Under Japanese law, every hotel is obliged to keep a guest register.

Ms Furlong was unconscious when she was brought to the Keio Plaza hotel by her killer, and therefore the hotel was unable to check her identity and register her.

The hotel yesterday denied that it had contravened any law.

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