Hong Kong | British banker jailed for life for 'sickening' HK murders
File photo of Rurik George Caton Jutting, sitting in the back row of a prison bus as he arrives at the Eastern Law Courts in Hong Kong November 24, 2014. Photo: Reuters/Bobby Yip
File photo of Rurik George Caton Jutting, sitting in the back row of a prison bus as he arrives at the Eastern Law Courts in Hong Kong November 24, 2014. Photo: Reuters/Bobby Yip

British banker jailed for life for ‘sickening’ HK murders

Unanimous decision marks the end of a trial that attracted global attention due to graphic video evidence and the brutality of the killings

November 8, 2016 3:51 PM (UTC+8)

British banker Rurik Jutting was found guilty of the horrifying murder of two Indonesian women at his upscale Hong Kong apartment and jailed for life on Tuesday, in a case the judge said was “sickening in the extreme”.

Cambridge graduate Jutting, 31, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih two years ago on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but a jury at Hong Kong’s High Court returned unanimous guilty verdicts.

“This must rank as one of the more horrifying murder case ever to come to court in Hong Kong,” judge Michael Stuart-Moore told the court, describing Jutting’s actions as “sickening in the extreme and beyond a normal person’s imagination”.

“You go to prison for life,” he said, at the conclusion of a case that shocked the city.

Murder in Hong Kong comes with a mandatory life sentence.

Jutting remained almost expressionless, breathing out heavily as he left the dock.

Members from a migrant workers group protest against British banker Rurik Jutting outside the High Court, where he was found guilty of double murder on November 8, 2016. Photo: Reuters/Bobby Yip
Members from a migrant workers group protest against British banker Rurik Jutting outside the High Court, where he was found guilty of double murder on November 8, 2016. Photo: Reuters/Bobby Yip

In a gruelling 10-day trial the jury heard how Jutting became obsessed with slavery, rape and torture and played out those fantasies with his first victim, Ningsih.

Fuelled by cocaine and alcohol, he tortured her for three days and recorded parts of her torment on his iPhone — footage the jury had to watch.

Jutting killed Ningsih by slashing her throat in his bathroom and then stuffed her body into a suitcase which he stored on his balcony.

The court heard that he had cut her neck with a serrated knife in the shower after forcing her to lick a toilet bowl.

In hours of self-recorded ranting on his iPhone after that murder, Jutting described his attacks on Ningsih using pliers, sex toys and a belt.

Days later he murdered Mujiasih, slashing her throat in his living room.

Control impaired

He had prepared to torture her but killed her quickly when she began to scream after spotting a rope gag by his sofa.

Both women were found dead in Jutting’s flat in the early hours of November 1, 2014, after he called police.

Jutting cut Mujiasih’s throat hours after he had met her at a bar near his home in Wanchai on October 31.

Ningsih and Mujiasih were in their 20s and had gone to Jutting’s apartment after he offered them money for sex.

In a letter read out to the court by defense counsel Tim Owen after the verdicts, Jutting said: “My actions regarding the deaths of Ningsih and Mujiasih, my actions preceding their deaths, were horrific even by the standard of homicide trials.”

Jutting said he was “haunted” by what he had done and was “aware of the acute pain I’ve caused to their loved ones”.

“The evil that I’ve inflicted cannot be remedied by me,” the letter said.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry beyond words.”

But  judge Stuart-Moore dismissed the apology.

“It’s the first mention of saying sorry about what he had done and I don’t accept it,” he told the court.

He described Jutting as an “archetypal sexual predator” who presented an extreme danger to women.

Jutting’s defense had argued that his control had been impaired by his heavy use of cocaine and alcohol, combined with narcissistic personality and sexual sadism disorders.

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