British backpacker apologises for foolish behaviour

British backpacker apologises for foolish behaviour
British national Eleanor Hawkins (front), along with three other tourists from Canada and the Netherlands, are escorted by police as they leave a court hearing in Kota Kinabalu, in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah June 10, 2015.

PETALING JAYA - The British backpacker deported from Malaysia after pleading guilty to stripping on Mount Kinabalu said she was "truly sorry" on her return home yesterday.

Eleanor Hawkins, 23, was one of four Western tourists who were deported after admitting to 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, reported AFP yesterday.

Her mother Ruth added: "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 last week in the wake of a deadly June 5 quake which killed 18 people on Mount Kinabalu.

They were each fined RM5,000 by the Sessions Court last Friday and sentenced to three days' jail starting from when they were arrested on Tuesday, meaning they had served their term.

The four will automatically be barred from coming back to Malaysia under the country's Immigration laws.

They are considered as undesirable under Section 8 of the Immigration Act 1959/1963 whereby the Immigration director-general has considered them such due to their conviction, legal officials explained.

The others who were convicted are Canadian siblings Lindsey, 22, and Danielle Pertersen, 23, and Dutchman Dylann Snel.

They were among 10 tourists who stripped on the mountain on May 30.

The act was considered sacrilege as the mountain is considered sacred to the native Kadazandusun communities.

The legal officials also said Sabah had immigration powers to bar them from entering the state indefinitely if the state government declares them persona non grata (unwelcome person).

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