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‘Naked’ backpacker ‘truly sorry’ on return to UK

LONDON: The British backpacker deported from Malaysia after pleading guilty to taking nude photos on a sacred mountain on Borneo island said she was “truly sorry” on her return home Sunday.

Eleanor Hawkins, 23, was one of four Western tourists who flew to Kuala Lumpur Saturday to be deport after admitting obscenity charges.

“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,” she said in a statement outside her house in Draycott, central England.

She landed at London’s Heathrow Airport on Sunday morning.

Her mother Ruth said: “She knows what she did was wrong and disrespectful and… she has been appropriately and fairly judged by the Malaysian authorities and has served her sentence in full.”

The four were arrested earlier this week in the wake of a deadly June 5 quake which killed 18 people on Mount Kinabalu in Sabah state.

Some in Malaysia including officials had blamed their actions for causing the earthquake.

They were fined 5,000 Malaysian ringgit ($1,330) by a local court on Friday and sentenced to three days’ jail time starting from when they were arrested on Tuesday, meaning their term had been served.

The earthquake, rare for Malaysia, sent landslides and boulders raining down just as more than 150 hikers were near the summit enjoying its sunrise views.

The 18 dead included seven schoolchildren from Singapore, along with two of their teachers and another adult who were on a school excursion to the mountain. – AFP

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