Lucie should have been next down the aisle.. not me; EXCLUSIVE FINDING JOY.. TIM BLACKMAN EIGHT YEARS ON.Byline: BY BETH NEIL NEIL Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited
NEIL Network Engineering and Integration Lab
THE church will be decked with flowers and the congregation packed with friends and family.
The day will be filled with celebrating, dancing and laughter.
But there will be one person missing from the wedding party - and her absence will tinge the festivities fes·tiv·i·ty
n. pl. fes·tiv·i·ties
1. A joyous feast, holiday, or celebration; a festival.
2. The pleasure, joy, and gaiety of a festival or celebration.
3. with immense sadness.
Because when Tim Blackman marries the woman he adores tomorrow, he knows that it should really be Lucie, the beautiful daughter he loved and lost, walking down the aisle.
It's been seven years since Lucie was found murdered in a cave on the outskirts of Tokyo.
The 21-year-old bar hostess from Sevenoaks, Kent, had been drugged, raped and dismembered. Her head was encased en·case
tr.v. en·cased, en·cas·ing, en·cas·es
To enclose in or as if in a case.
en·casement n. in concrete.
Lucie would be 29 now. And Tim can't help imagining that were she alive, she would be the one getting ready to marry on a summery June day like this. Speaking exclusively to the Mirror on the eve On the Eve (Накануне in Russian) is the third novel by famous Russian writer Ivan Turgenev, best known for his short stories and the novel Fathers and Sons. of his wedding to long-time partner Josephine Burr, he says: "Lucie's was always going to be the next wedding in the family.
"There's a very good chance she would be getting married around now and that's extremely difficult to think about.
"It's impossible to resist imagining what she might be doing. I do that all the time. So tomorrow is going to be a very bittersweet bittersweet, name for two unrelated plants, belonging to different families, both fall-fruiting woody vines sometimes cultivated for their decorative scarlet berries. day. I'll be sad and happy at the same time."
The wedding will be the first time since Lucie's death that the whole family have come together. Until now it has been too painful to even contemplate meeting up, knowing Lucie won't be there.
Property developer Tim, 54, who now lives in Ryde on the Isle ofWight, hopes tomorrow will mark a new chapter where the family at last feel able to carry on without Lucie.
He says: "It'll be lovely to have everyone - the cousins, siblings, half brothers and sisters - together again. It's been too upsetting to get together without Lucie, so we just haven't done it.
"It's been very divisive, so the wedding is an enormous chance to break that taboo. We can't go on forever feeling sorry for Lucie's absence. It'll be good for us to try and overcome the pain of her not being here together."
The grief is clearly still raw, but he is determined that Lucie will play a part in the ceremony. The vicar with remember her in the prayers while her brother Rupert, 25, and sister Sophie, 28, will light candles for her.
"Everybody will know she is there," he says, softly. "We will feel her presence everywhere."
From the very first day of Lucie's disappearance in July 2000, to the discovery of her body the following year and the charging and subsequent acquittal The legal and formal certification of the innocence of a person who has been charged with a crime.
Acquittals in fact take place when a jury finds a verdict of not guilty. of Korean Joji Obara, her family has been consumed by the tragedy.
Despite his acquittal, Obara is currently serving a life sentence for a string of other rapes and the death of an Australian woman.
Tim caused controversy in 2006 when, against the wishes of his ex-wife, Lucie's mum Jane Steare, he accepted nearly pounds 500,000 in compensation from Obara.
Jane remains convinced the so-called blood money, taken before the end of the trial, contributed to Obara's acquittal. But Tim defends his decision and insists the cash will be used to secure the futures of his surviving children.
"It won't bringmy daughter back. This payment, though, can help with the future of my family and the charity set up in Lucie's name," he said at the time.
Throughout those dark days his childhood friend Josephine, a 47-year-old ophthalmic nurse was at his side.
He says: "Josephine dropped everything and flew out to Tokyo to be with me. That meant everything. I know there were times when Josephine felt she was losing me and I was being swept away by it all. But we stuck together - we've been through so much, being married will complete our relationship. Having said that, it's taken me a long time to be able to face it. I haven't felt stable enough to do it. Now it feels right."
Sophie will be bridesmaid alongside Josephine's daughters Alicia, 19, and 16-year-old Rosie. Rupert will be Tim's best man and Josephine's sons Ryan, 24, and Luke, 22, their ushers.
"Lucie was a goddess to Josephine's kids," says Tim. "They loved her so much and were all affected very deeply by her death."
Tim and Josephine have known each other since they were children on the Isle ofWight. Tim was friends with Josephine's older brother and even dated her sister as a teen.
Life took them in different directions and it wasn't until Tim and Jane moved to Sevenoaks that they met again, purely by chance.
"I had to take Lucie to the doctor with tonsillitis tonsillitis
Inflammatory infection of the tonsils, usually with hemolytic streptococci (see streptococcus) or viruses. The symptoms are sore throat, trouble in swallowing, fever, and enlarged lymph nodes on the neck. . I remember the GP asked whether I minded if a trainee nurse sat in on the check-up. And in walked Josephine... it was astonishing a·ston·ish
tr.v. as·ton·ished, as·ton·ish·ing, as·ton·ish·es
To fill with sudden wonder or amazement. See Synonyms at surprise. . It was as if there was a connection between us, a thread of compatibility. But I was married to Jane and had a young family so I put it to the back of my mind and got on with my life."
By the time the two of them met again in 1996, Tim and Jane's marriage had broken down and they were going through a divorce. Josephine had gone on to marry and have four children, but her own relationship was also on the verge On the Verge (or The Geography of Yearning) is a play written by Eric Overmyer. It makes extensive use of esoteric language and pop culture references from the late nineteenth century to 1955. of collapse.
She and Tim bumped into each other at Josephine sister's 40th birthday party and immediately fell for each other.
"I had been feeling pretty down and seeing Josephine again was wonderful. I knew my feelings were true," he says. After just six months Tim moved in with Josephine and her children.
"It felt the natural thing to do," he says. "Not only is Josephine fantastically beautiful, but she has this wonderful combination of being sensibly grounded with a very wicked streak."
One can't help feeling that Lucie would approve.
TIM BLACKMAN ON HIS MARRIAGE TO PARTNER JOSEPHINE
Tomorrow will be a bitter-sweet day. We'll be sad and happy at the same time
HUNT FOR A KILLER
MAY 4 2000
Lucie and friend Louise Phillips, also 21, arrive in Tokyo on 90-day tourist visas.
Lucie vanishes after phoning her friend to say she was going out with a man.
Louise gets call from man who says Lucie has joined a religious cult Noun 1. religious cult - a system of religious beliefs and rituals; "devoted to the cultus of the Blessed Virgin"
faith, religion, religious belief - a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny; "he lost his and she will not see her again.
Sister Sophie flies to Japan to try to find Lucie. Two weeks later family fly out and offer pounds 100,000 reward.
Tokyo police receive letter allegedly from Lucie saying she was OK "so leave me alone."
Property developer Joji Obara quizzed over Lucie's disappearance as well as rape of other women
FEB 9, 2001
Police find Lucie's body parts buried in a cave on a beach near Obara's home close to Tokyo, left.
OCT OCT ornithine carbamoyltransferase; oxytocin challenge test.
ornithine carbamoyl transferase, a liver specific enzyme.
OCT Oxytocin stress test, see there 10, 2002
Obara goes on trial for killing Lucie and another girl and rape of eight others
APRIL April: see month. 24 2007
Obara is cleared of killing Lucie but sentenced to life for rape and murder of others.
ANGER Ex-wife Jane; SUPPORT Josephine had flown to Japan to be with Tim during the agonising hunt and eventual trial Picture: JAMES VELLACOTT; KILLER Millionaire property developer Joji Obara was acquitted of Lucie's murder because police couldn't prove he'd killed her - despite the fact he'd been seen with her on the day she vanished; DEVOTED Tim with Lucie. He never stops thinking about her