Sunday 19 November 2017

'Naked tourist' Eleanor Hawkins deported from Malaysia

British national Eleanor Hawkins (front), along with three other tourists from Canada and the Netherlands, are escorted by police as they leave a court hearing in Kota Kinabalu, in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah June 10, 2015. REUTERS/New Straits Times/Mohd Adam Arinin
British national Eleanor Hawkins (front), along with three other tourists from Canada and the Netherlands, are escorted by police as they leave a court hearing in Kota Kinabalu, in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah June 10, 2015. REUTERS/New Straits Times/Mohd Adam Arinin
Canadian Danielle Petersen, 22, center right, and left, Eleanor Hawkins, 24, left, of Britain are escorted by police as they leave court in Kota Kinabalu, in eastern Sabah state on Borneo island, Malaysia, Friday, June 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Mohd Asraffirdauz Bin Abdullah)
Dutch national Dylan Snel (4th L) leaves a court hearing along with Canadian siblings Lindsey (3rd L, obscured) and Danielle Petersen (C, in black with face obscured) and British national Eleanor Hawkins (3rd R, obscured) in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia's eastern Sabah state June 12, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

Harriet Alexander

A British backpacker who posed topless on a mountain in Malaysia has been deported to the UK, after pleading guilty to indecency.

Eleanor Hawkins, 23, was escorted to Kota Kinabalu airport this morning with three other Westerners – Canadian siblings Lindsey and Danielle Petersen, aged 22 and 23, and 23-year-old Dutchman Dylan Snel.

Covering her face, she was ushered through by representatives from the Dutch and Australian embassies. And despite her ordeal, she did manage a slight smile at the attention her presence aroused.

“She was very relieved when she knew she’d be leaving,” said Ronny Cham, their lawyer. “They weren’t scared. They had been treated alright.”

Eleanor Hawkins
Pic: Instagram
Eleanor Hawkins Pic: Instagram

Read more here: Naked photo sentence was fair, says Eleanor Hawkins' father 

They were sentenced to pay a 5,000 ringgit (£858) fine and spend three days in jail, which – taking into account the time already in detention - expired at midnight on Friday. They spent Saturday morning with the immigration authorities, before being taken to the airport.

Miss Hawkins’ father Tim told The Telegraph that his daughter, who left the UK in January to travel alone throughout South East Asia, had intended to travel onwards from Malaysia to Singapore and Hong Kong. But instead she was flying directly home to Derbyshire.

He said the sentence was "appropriate and fair for the offence committed", and that he was looking forward to welcoming her home.

Her saga began on May 30, when she was climbing Mount Kinabalu – a sacred mountain on the northern tip of Borneo, in Malaysia’s Sabah state.

Read more here: Woman accused of triggering earthquake by posing naked pleads guilty to 'obscene acts in public' 

Eleanor Hawkins
Pic: Instagram
Eleanor Hawkins Pic: Instagram

The group of ten dared each other to take their clothes off near the summit, and withstand the chill on top of the 13,435ft-mountain – the tallest peak between the Himalayas and New Guinea.

But when photos of the prank emerged on social media, a formal complaint was made. Miss Hawkins and the other three were arrested on Tuesday, remanded in custody on Wednesday, and sentenced on Friday evening.

“I’m not surprised at how quickly they processed the case,” said Mr Cham. “The important thing is that the embassy and the parents took my advice – to plead guilty and offer an apology.

“This was their best bet.”

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated family handout file photo of Eleanor Hawkins, who has has pleaded guilty to a public nuisance offence, it has been reported, after she was blamed for triggering an earthquake by posing naked on a sacred mountain in Malaysia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday June 12, 2015. Backpacker Eleanor Hawkins, 23, admitted the offence during an appearance at Kota Kinabalu Magistrates' Court in Malaysia, the BBC and Sky News confirmed. See PA story POLICE Malaysia. Photo credit should read: Family handout/PA Wire
NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated family handout file photo of Eleanor Hawkins, who has has pleaded guilty to a public nuisance offence, it has been reported, after she was blamed for triggering an earthquake by posing naked on a sacred mountain in Malaysia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday June 12, 2015. Backpacker Eleanor Hawkins, 23, admitted the offence during an appearance at Kota Kinabalu Magistrates' Court in Malaysia, the BBC and Sky News confirmed. See PA story POLICE Malaysia. Photo credit should read: Family handout/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Read more here: Mount Kinabalu: The sacred - and dangerous - mountain  

Mr Cham said that foreigners in Malaysia would not be granted bail, because they needed two local people to provide surety. If they contested the charges, they would have faced “months, even years” awaiting trial, he added.

And he said the group were fortunate to escape prosecution from a native court.

Tribal people in Sabah had threatened to haul the four before their own judge, where they would have faced unspecified jail time or fines. Ten head of buffalo was suggested by one elder as a suitable punishment.

“The native court could have issued a summons,” said Mr Cham. “I don’t know if they have started a procedure. But the four were lucky to have been released on a Saturday, when the native court wasn’t sitting.”

Read more here: University graduate faces jail over naked photos on mountain  

All four are in theory entitled to return to Malaysia – although only Mr Snel asked the lawyer whether that was a possibility.

“I’m really happy that they are on their way home,” said Mr Cham. “My work is done.”

Telegraph.co.uk

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in World News