Man on trial for assault of friend of strangled Irish student


A man accused of sexually assaulting an Irish student while her friend, Nicola Furlong, was being strangled in a nearby hotel room has testified in a Japanese court for the first time.

James Blackston (23) is on trial for assaulting the unnamed woman in a taxi and at a hotel in May and raping a Brazilian woman in a separate incident about a month before. The prosecution says the professional dancer drugged both women before the assaults.

Mr Blackston told the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday that the Brazilian woman was a “groupie” who had approached him first.

He is due to be cross-examined about the assault on the Irish woman on January 10th. A friend of the man, who has been charged with killing Ms Furlong, goes on trial next March.