Monday 20 November 2017

Mountain strip woman 'truly sorry' for causing offence

Eleanor Hawkins has returned home after being deported from Malaysia
Eleanor Hawkins has returned home after being deported from Malaysia

Alan Rothermere

The British woman jailed for stripping on a sacred Malaysian mountain has apologised for causing offence after being deported home.

University graduate Eleanor Hawkins was in tears as she read a statement outside her family home in Derbyshire.

She said: "I just want to say how relieved and happy I am to finally be home.

"I know my behaviour was foolish and I know how much offence we all caused to the local people of Sabah. For that, I am truly sorry."

It brings to an end an arduous 10 days for the aeronautical engineering graduate, who was fined 5,000 Malaysian ringgit (€1,200) and sentenced to three days in jail - which she had already served - at a court hearing in Kota Kinabalu on Friday.

The 23-year-old arrived back in England yesterday morning.

Her mother Ruth said: "She knows what she did was wrong and disrespectful and she is deeply sorry for any offence caused to the people of Sabah and she has been appropriately and fairly judged by the Malaysian authorities and has served her sentence in full, the case is now closed.

"We would all now like Eleanor to be given the chance to recover, so we would really appreciate it if you would now afford us some privacy and allow her to get on with her life.

"We would like to thank again the British consulate officials who have support Ellie in Malaysia during this very difficult time."

Ms Hawkins was arrested with three other backpackers earlier this week for posing naked on Mount Kinabalu, an act blamed by locals for causing an earthquake that killed 18 people.

Ms Hawkins's father Timothy previously said the sentence his daughter received was "appropriate" and "fair".

"I'm grateful that the Malaysian authorities reached this decision," he said.

"Eleanor knows what she did was wrong and disrespectful and she is deeply sorry for any offence she's caused to the Malaysian people."

Several other backpackers who appeared in photos taken on the mountain remain wanted by police, according to reports.

A magnitude-5.9 earthquake struck the 13,400ft mountain on June 5, killing 18 people and leaving hundreds more stranded.

Irish Independent

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