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Murdered Nicola's dad tells of pain

THE father of murdered student Nicola Furlong said that "it never gets any better" for his family as the second anniversary of her death approaches.

Nicola (right) from Curracloe in Wexford, was strangled to death by US musician Richard Hinds at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo on May 24, 2012.

The anniversary of Hinds' sentencing is approaching in two weeks' time.

And Nicola's heartbroken dad Andrew Furlong has described how he cannot get over his daughter's death aged just 21.

"You're walking around in a daze. You're thinking of her 24/7," he said.

"When she was alive you thought of her but you knew she was going to come home, you knew you were going to see her. Now 24/7 she's not here."

Hinds (19) was given a sentence of a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10 years with labour, which was the maximum sentence possible because he was considered a minor under Japanese law.

The court ruled that his testimony was "not credible", that he had "tainted the honour of his victim" and that he had strangled her using either a towel or a tank top, both of which had traces of her DNA.

Business and Japanese student Nicola was on an exchange programme from Dublin City University when she was killed.

Asked by Joe Duffy on yesterday's RTE Liveline programme if the Japanese authorities had been in contact with the Furlongs since the trial, Anthony Furlong said: "There is nothing to discuss. They will only get in contact with us if they know probably in the five years if he's getting out."

Under Japanese law the prison authorities can decide after five years whether Mr Hinds should be released or serve a full 10-year term.

Mr Furlong said: "That's Japanese law, there's nothing we can do. He gets five years and then it's up to the wardens in the jail. That's our understanding of it."