Sabah quake: Naked backpacker says she's truly sorry on return to Britain

British national Eleanor Hawkins (front), along with three other tourists from Canada and the Netherlands, are escorted by police as they leave a court hearing in Kota Kinabalu, in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah on June 10, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
British national Eleanor Hawkins (front), along with three other tourists from Canada and the Netherlands, are escorted by police as they leave a court hearing in Kota Kinabalu, in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah on June 10, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - The British backpacker deported from Malaysia after pleading guilty to taking nude photos on a sacred mountain on Borneo island said she was "truly sorry" on her return home on Sunday (June 14).

Ms Eleanor Hawkins, 23, was one of four Western tourists who flew to Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (June 13) to be deported after admitting obscenity charges.

"I know my behaviour was foolish and I know how much offence we all caused to the local people of Sabah. For that, I am truly sorry," she said in a statement outside her house in Draycott, central England.

She landed at London's Heathrow Airport on Sunday morning.

Her mother Ruth said: "She knows what she did was wrong and disrespectful and... she has been appropriately and fairly judged by the Malaysian authorities and has served her sentence in full."

The four were arrested earlier this week in the wake of a deadly June 5 quake which killed 18 people on Mount Kinabalu in Sabah state.The 18 dead included seven schoolchildren from Singapore, along with two of their teachers and another adult, who were on a school excursion to the mountain.

Some in Malaysia, including officials, had blamed their actions for causing the earthquake.

They were fined RM5,000 (S$1,794) by a local court on Friday (June 12) and sentenced to three days' jail time starting from when they were arrested on Tuesday (June 9), meaning their term had been served.