Mount Kinabalu 'nudist' Eleanor Hawkins due home

Eleanor Hawkins Image copyright Other
Image caption Eleanor Hawkins is "preparing for the worst" her dad said

A British woman jailed for taking her clothes off on a mountain in Malaysia has left Borneo ahead of returning to the UK later.

Eleanor Hawkins, 23, from Derbyshire, was among a group of 10 people who stripped before taking photographs at the peak of Mount Kinabalu on 30 May.

She admitted public indecency along with three other western tourists, one Dutch and two Canadians, and was imprisoned for three days.

All four have now left the island.

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Media captionEleanor Hawkins covered her face as she faced photographers at the airport

Noor Alam Khan Abdul Wahid Khan, the immigration department director of the Malaysian state Sabah, told the BBC Hawkins left Kota Kinabalu for Kuala Lumpur at 17:35 local time (10:35 BST) on Malaysia Airlines.

The other three, Dutch national Dylan Snel, 23, and Canadian siblings Lindsey, 23, and Danielle Peterson, 22, left earlier on Saturday for Kuala Lumpur.

Image caption Images of the group at the top of Mount Kinabalu were posted on social media

Hawkins, whose sentence was back-dated to reflect time already served, was also fined 5,000 Malaysian ringgit (£860/$1,330) on Friday.

She and her co-accused all admitted a charge of "committing an obscene act in public".

Hawkins, who is from the Derbyshire village of Draycott, said she had been "stupid and disrespectful".

Prosecutors said the four tourists, along with six others, climbed the peak to enjoy the sunrise on 30 May and then challenged each other to take off their clothes and pose for photographs.

The move caused widespread offence in the region and was regarded as the cause of a magnitude 5.9 earthquake near the mountain, which is considered sacred.

The earthquake, on 5 June, killed 18 people, including children, and left hundreds more stranded.

Sabah state deputy chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan blamed it on the travellers showing "disrespect to the sacred mountain".

Why is Kinabalu considered sacred?

Image copyright AFP
  • Sabah's Kadazan Dusun tribe believe the mountain houses the spirits of their dead ancestors
  • The name Kinabalu is derived from the tribe's phrase "Aki Nabalu", which means resting place of the dead
  • Climbers are told by guides, many of whom are Kadazan Dusun, to treat the mountain with respect and to refrain from shouting, screaming or cursing at it
  • Every December the tribe conducts a ritual called the Monolob to appease the spirits and allow climbers to continue visiting the mountain
  • A priestess, called a Bobolian, makes an offering of seven white chickens accompanied by seven chicken eggs, betel nuts, tobacco, limestone powder, and betel plant leaves. The Bobolian leads a chant and the chickens are then slaughtered, cooked, and given to the ceremony participants
  • In the past, this ceremony was conducted before every ascent, and climbers used the cooked meat as rations for their journey

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