A Southampton graduate sentenced to 3 days in prison for exposing herself on a Malaysian mountain has returned to the UK and publicly apologised for her actions.
23 year old Eleanor Hawkins, who recently graduated from Southampton with a MEng in Aeronautical Engineering was travelling in South East Asia. While visiting Malaysia with other backpackers, Hawkins was arrested after photos appearing to show them stripping naked before taking photos on 13,400 ft high Mount Kinabalu, which is considered sacred by some Malaysians.
The group have been accused of causing a magnitude 5.9 earthquake that hit the mountain last Friday – the Deputy Chief Minister of Malaysia’s Sabah state accused tourists of disrespecting the mountain.
Hawkins has since been released after serving the three day prison sentence imposed on her for public order offences and paying a fine of 5,000 Malaysian ringgit (£859). She apologised publicly in a statement outside her family home in Derbyshire:
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, I just want to say how relieved and happy I am to finally be home.
At the time of her arrest her father Timothy Hawkins told the Daily Echo:
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.’
Mr Hawkins also criticised a Canadian member of the group – reportedly 33 year old Emil Kaminski, who is alleged to have posted both the photos and offensive comments on Social Media. He accused the ‘halfwit Canadian guy’ of stirring up a media storm.
Police had to obtain a court order to detain Hawkins and three others from Western countries for 4 days while they were investigated for indecent behaviour. Sabah Police Chief Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said that two Canadians and a Dutch citizen had presented themselves at police stations on Tuesday morning of that week