Tatsuya Ichihashi, a Japanese man who raped and killed British teacher Lindsay Hawker, lost an appeal against his life sentence.      

Ichihashi, 33 was jailed in July after being found guilty for the murder of Hawker, 22 from Warwickshire, England.

His lawyers at the appeal complained that the life sentence  Ichihashi was serving was too harsh. But judges at the Tokyo High Court struck down the appeal, reported BBC.

Ichihashi led Hawker to  his apartment in March 2007 where he raped and strangled her. He said he accidently killed her after the rape to muffle her screams so the neighbors would not hear them.

Investigators began searching for Ichihashi after the teacher's body was found bloodied in a sand-filled bath tub on the balcony of his apartment.

He was on the run for two years and eight months. Police offered 10 million yen  ($123,102) and put up wanted posters around the country.

Ichihashi underwent extensive plastic surgery to evade the police. He was finally arrested at a ferry terminal in Osaka on November 2009. He was waiting for a ferry to Okinawa, reported the Independent.

Ichihashi  wrote a tell all book about the murder entitled 'Until The Arrest' as a gesture of contrition for the crime I committed. He said he would donate the royalties to Hawker's family, but they refused. The book became a national bestseller.  

Prosecutors at the original trial said that Hawker's murder was premeditated. Ichihashi said he was unaware that he was suffocating her and tried to revive her. The same argument was later repeated at his appeal, and the Tokyo High Court upheld the sentence.

The presiding judge, Yoshinobu Lida, said Ichihashi had shown murderous intent and had resorted to violence to satisfy his desire, reported the Guardian.

His life sentence was justified as Ichihashi continued his life on the run for two years and seven months and even after his arrest, he gave false excuses for his crime, reported the AFP.

Hawker's father Bill had originally called for Ichihashi to be given the heaviest punished possible under Japanese law, which is the death penalty. The Hawker family said they had achieved justice after Ichihashi was sentenced to life in prison.

Hawker moved to Japan in October 2006 to teach English at the Nova language school after graduating from Leeds University.

Hawker was teaching Ichihashi, a former student of horticulture, English. She was last seen giving him an English lesson in a coffee shop.

Ichihashi will have to serve at least 10 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.