Nicola Furlong murder accused claims evidence was changed

Monday 11 March 2013 21.57
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Richard Hinds described the conversation he had in a taxi as 'meaningless talk'
Richard Hinds described the conversation he had in a taxi as 'meaningless talk'
Nicola Furlong was found dead in the Keio Plaza hotel in Tokyo
Nicola Furlong was found dead in the Keio Plaza hotel in Tokyo

The man accused of murdering Irish student Nicola Furlong in Japan last year has claimed Japanese police changed his evidence.

Richard Hinds from Memphis, Tennessee, told the court that Ms Furlong had asked him to place his hand on her neck.

He said this happened several times over the course of the evening and he had exerted light pressure for a period of 30 seconds.

His lawyer claimed, and he agreed, that the police had changed his statement to read "for two or three minutes".

He also said that when Ms Furlong woke up in his hotel room, the first thing she said was: "What's up?"

The 19-year-old described how Ms Furlong disappeared for a period during the evening and he found her in the bathroom of a club and brought her to a taxi.

He claimed the conversation he and his friend James Blackston had in the taxi as meaningless talk.

Ms Furlong, 21, was found dead in the Keio Plaza hotel in Tokyo's Shinjuku district on 24 May last year.

Mr Hinds described how he and Mr Blackston met the two Irish women after a concert and accompanied them to a bar in central Tokyo.

He told the court the Irish women said they were "going to drink them under the table".

Mr Hinds described how, at one point in the night, Ms Furlong had collapsed in the toilet of the nightclub. He believed she was very drunk.

He brought her outside to a taxi where Mr Blackston was already helping her friend inside.

Mr Hinds said the conversation that then ensued in the taxi between the two men where they referred to their intention to have sex with the two women was "meaningless talk".

He also said he did not know about the sexual assault that Mr Blackston allegedly carried out on Ms Furlong's friend in the taxi.

Ms Furlong's mother and sister are due to give victim impact statements tomorrow.