British backpacker caught topless on sacred Malaysian mountain speaks out for first time back in UK
A British backpacker jailed after posing topless on sacred Malaysian mountain has spoken out for the first time after arriving back home in the early hours.
Eleanor Hawkins, from Derby, was jailed along with three others after an image of her topless on the mountain circulated online.
She pleaded guilty to a public nuisance offence at a court hearing in Kota Kinabalu and was fined £850 and sentenced to three days in jail, which she had already served.
Their actions were also blamed for an earthquake that killed 18 people days later because they showed disrespect to the sacred mountain by taking off their clothes.
Eleanor, who lives in a picturesque village filled with flowers and rural scenes is not used to the media attention it has received over the past few days.
Speaking from her home this morning, Eleanor expressed her remorse and relief at being back home with her parents, Tim and Ruth Hawkins.
Eleanor said: “I just want to say how relieved and happy I am to finally be home.
“I know what I did was foolish and caused offence to the local people in Malaysia, for that I am very sorry.”
Tim and Ruth arrived back home at 10.05am in their turquoise blue Ford Mondeo after collecting their daughter from Heathrow airport this morning.
Initially there was no sign of Eleanor but the three of them appeared at the front of their lavish home just ten minutes later.
Mum, Ruth, 56, said: “We are very relieved to find Eleanor home after a very traumatic time for her.
“Eleanor knows what she did was wrong and disrespectful and is very sorry.
“The case is now closed.
“Eleanor has been appropriately and fairly judged by the Malaysian authorities and has served her sentence in full.
“We would all now like Eleanor to be given the chance to recover, we would appreciate and hope that she can be given some privacy to allow her to get on with her life.”