Thursday, July 17, 2008

Family accepts $1m from man who drugged Carita Ridgway

The family of slain Perth woman Carita Ridgway has been criticised for accepting a 100 million yen ($1 million) payment from notorious Japanese convicted killer and rapist Joji Obara.

The controversial payment was announced this month by Obara's lawyer Yasuo Shionoya who told The Courier-Mail that Nigel Ridgway, Carita's father, was also taking the money on behalf of Carita's sister Samantha and mother Annette Ridgway.

Obara is serving a life sentence for raping a number of women and for causing the death of Carita, who died after being drugged and raped in 1992.

News of the settlement has upset British woman Jane Steare, who believes Obara also killed her daughter Lucie Blackman whose body was found in south of Tokyo in 2000.

But Obara was found not guilty of drugging, raping and killing Blackman.

Last year Lucie's father Tim Blackman accepted a payment from Obara despite opposition from Ms Steare.

She told The Times newspaper this month that she now feared acceptance of the cash by members of both families would result in a reduced sentence for Obara.

Ridgway died after Obara drugged her with chloroform.


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