Published on 12 Jun 2015 Sections

Naked backpacker given three days in jail and fine

Eleanor Hawkins, blamed for triggering an earthquake by posing naked on Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu, is fined £1,000 and sentenced to three days in jail.

The 23-year-old and three other western tourists, who were also fined, have already served the time. Ms Hawkins admitted to the public nuisance offence during an appearance at Kota Kinabalu magistrates’ court in Malaysia.

The judge said the four had shown remorse and ordered the jail terms to run from 9 June, meaning the group is free to leave.

Malaysia earthquake

The group of backpackers were arrested after photos emerged of them stripping naked on Mount Kinabalu.

Ms Hawkins, an aeronautical engineering graduate from Derby, was arrested at Tawau airport on Tuesday as she was flying from the island of Borneo to the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Eleanor Hawkins arrived in a car driven by men in balaclavas and was quickly ushered into Kota Kinabalu Magistrates’ Court.

According to her lawyer, she could be charged over allegations of indecent behaviour. Prosecution carries a possible three-month prison sentence or a fine.

Miss Hawkins was part of a group of backpackers arrested after photographs emerged of them allegedly posing naked on the sacred Mount Kinabalu.

Sabah state deputy chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan blamed the group for causing a magnitude-5.9 earthquake, which struck the mountain six days after the alleged nudity incident, claiming that the earthquake happened because the group had “disrespect to the sacred mountain”.

Eleanor Hawkins’s father said his daughter was sorry for any offence caused.

He said: “She knows what she did was stupid and disrespectful and is very sorry for the offence that she has caused the Malaysian people.”

“We hope that the Malaysian authorities deal with the misdemeanour and not link it to the unfortunate tragic events that occurred the following week.”

Ms Hawkins appeared in court alongside three other defendants – Canadian siblings Lindsey and Danielle Petersen, and a Dutchman. During the hearing, the four denied claims that they told their guides to “go to hell”.

They had faced a maximum of three months in jail for their offence.

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck the 13,400ft-high mountain last Friday, killing 18 people and leaving hundreds more stranded.

‘Disrespect to sacred mountain’

Sabah State Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan blamed the group for causing a magnitude-5.9 earthquake, which struck the mountain six days after the alleged nudity incident, claiming that the earthquake happened because the group had “disrespect to the sacred mountain”.

Eleanor Hawkins’ father said that his daughter was sorry for any offence caused.

He said: “She knows what she did was stupid and disrespectful and is very sorry for the offence that she has caused the Malaysian people.”

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