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Tragedy dad weds his childhood friend

PUBLISHED: 11:46 26 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:19 12 August 2010

HAPPY COUPLE: Tim Blackman and new wife Josephine. Picture by Dave Russell.

HAPPY COUPLE: Tim Blackman and new wife Josephine. Picture by Dave Russell.

THE father of murdered bar hostess Lucie Blackman has finally married his partner nearly eight years after his tragic loss. Tim Blackman, 54, told the Times he felt it was okay to be happy again after the ceremony in the Isle of Wight last Saturday. H

THE father of murdered bar hostess Lucie Blackman has finally married his partner nearly eight years after his tragic loss.

Tim Blackman, 54, told the Times he felt it was "okay to be happy again" after the ceremony in the Isle of Wight last Saturday.

His daughter Lucie Blackman, 21, was found murdered in a coastal cave near Tokyo, in 2001, where she had travelled to work as a bar hostess. She had been drugged, raped, dismembered and decapitated.

She was buried at St Nicholas Church in Church Lane, Chislehurst.

Property developer Mr Blackman, 54, had put off marrying his 47-year-old partner Josephine Burr after the horrific murder of his beloved daughter.

But the couple eventually tied the knot in Belvedere Street, Ryde in the island where they had met at school.

Mr Blackman said: "Ever since the death it has been really difficult to get together, so we just haven't done it. It's just been too sad because of the gap left by Lucie.

"But this wedding has broken the taboo - it's like it's okay to be happy again.

"We had talked about marriage before Lucie went missing and then again after she went missing, but since her death it has been impossible to put it on the agenda in any way. When you lie in bed at night, you wonder how stable you really are. I thought: 'how can I commit to Jane knowing that I'm not that good in the head?' And it's taken me a long time to come to terms with that.

"And knowing Rupert and Sophie [his other children] have been so deeply affected by it made it a hard decision but they are both so much better now."

Rupert, 25, and Sophie, 28, lit candles in her memory at the emotional ceremony.

Sophie was bridesmaid with Josephine's daughters Alicia, 19, and Rosie, 16, and Rupert was best man alongside Josephine's sons Ryan, 24, and Luke, 22 - their ushers.

The married couple are set to honeymoon in the Caribbean later this summer.

Japanese businessman Joji Obara was jailed in April last year for the rape of eight women and the rape resulting in death of Australian Carita Ridgeway.

Obara was accused of killing Lucie in the trial but was cleared after Mr Blackman accepted £450,000 in condolence cash in 2006.

He says the money has funded the Lucie Blackman Trust which aims to keep people safe.

But ex-wife Jane Steare, Lucie's mother, publicly blasted him calling it 'blood money' when he accepted the donation.

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