Stripping backpacker ‘back in UK’

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Published: Sunday 14th June 2015 by The News Editor

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A British woman convicted for stripping on a sacred Malaysian mountain is believed to have returned to the UK.

Backpacker Eleanor Hawkins, who pleaded guilty to a public nuisance offence, was due to arrive at Heathrow Airport having been deported from Malaysia.

At a court hearing in Kota Kinabalu on Friday she was fined 5,000 Malaysian ringgit (£859) and sentenced to three days in jail, which she had already served.

Miss Hawkins was arrested with three other backpackers earlier this week for posing naked on the mountainside, after being blamed by locals for causing an earthquake which killed 18 people.

Miss Hawkins’s father Timothy 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.

“We now look forward to having her back home but we don’t know when this will be as we’ve no contact with the consulate in Kuala Lumpur and have not spoken to Ellie.”

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

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

Sabah state deputy chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan later blamed the quake on the travellers showing “disrespect to the sacred mountain”.

A recent graduate with a masters degree from Southampton University, Miss Hawkins was in the middle of a gap year travelling around south-east Asia, which began in January.

She went to Malaysia at the start of May and later that month travelled to Borneo.

Published: Sunday 14th June 2015 by The News Editor

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