British banker found guilty of Hong Kong murders

Jutting denied charges of murder - Getty Images

British banker Rurik Jutting has been found guilty of murdering two Indonesian women in Hong Kong, in a case that has gripped the city.

A jury took around four hours to find an expressionless Jutting, who denied murder but admitted manslaughter, guilty on both counts.

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He was sentenced to life in prison for the killings of Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih.

Their mutilated bodies were found in Jutting’s apartment in November 2014.

Murder carries a mandatory life sentence in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong court airs video of Brit banker describing torture of murdered Indonesian

In a statement read out by his lawyer, Jutting expressed remorse for the killings and accepted his actions were “horrific”.

“I remain haunted daily both by memory of my actions… and by knowledge of the acute pain I have caused their loved ones, not least Ningsih’s young son,” he said.

“The evil I have [done] cannot be remedied by me in words or actions. Nevertheless, for whatever it may be worth, to Ningsih’s family and friends, and Mujiasih’s family and friends, I am sorry, I am sorry beyond words.”

An Indonesian migrant worker lays rose petals over the pictures of murder victims in Hong Kong on 9 November 2014.
Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih were migrant workers from Indonesia – Image copyright AFP

But Deputy High Court Judge Michael Stuart-Moore, who noted the trial had been “made to dredge into depths of depravity” over Jutting’s actions, said he did not accept the apology as he sentenced him to life in prison.

Mr Stuart-Moore said he believed Jutting posed an “immense danger… if he is ever again given his liberty beyond the prison gates”.

“On each offence I pass a concurrent life term. Had this been in the UK I would have commended the sentences to be a full life term. There’s no such power in Hong Kong to do so. You’ll go to prison for life,” he told Jutting, who was escorted from the courtroom by three officers.

The two victims’ families had released statements calling for a severe punishment for Jutting as well as compensation for the women’s deaths, as they were the main breadwinners in the home.

Ms Mujiasih’s family said they were “devastated” and that they hoped Jutting could be executed “if possible”. Ms Ningsih’s family called on the Indonesian government to provide a scholarship for her seven-year-old son.

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At the scene: Robin Brant, BBC News, Hong Kong High Court

There was a clap, a single clap, then repeated, from someone in the public area as the jury’s verdict was read out.

Rurik Jutting, a much trimmer, tidier version of the bloated and bearded man who was arrested two years ago, sat in the dock with no expression.

He knows he is probably never coming out of jail. Representatives of the families of his two victims were in court. It was standing room only. Neither his parents nor brother were there. The 31-year-old bowed his head slightly as a statement he’d written was read out.

The man described as extremely narcissistic said he accepted the judgement and he was “sorry”.

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General view of apartment J Residence is shown on 25 October 2016 in Hong Kong,
The two women’s bodies were found in Jutting’s luxury apartment – Image copyright – GETTY IMAGES

Jutting had pleaded not guilty to murder, but guilty to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility.

The trial of the Cambridge graduate and former Bank of America employee had played out to packed courtrooms in recent weeks.

His lawyers argued that he killed the women because he failed to control his narcissistic personality disorder and sexual sadism, as well as his increasing drug and alcohol abuse.

They said his disorders stemmed from sexual abuse during his boarding school days at the prestigious Winchester College in the UK, and the trauma of his father’s attempted suicide when Jutting was 16.

However, the prosecution argued that he was able to form judgements and exercise self control, citing the fact that he had filmed Ms Ningsih’s torture on his phone.

He also filmed himself discussing the killings and his sexual fantasies. The videos were shown to the jury of four women and five men during the trial.

Prosecutors said he lured the women separately to his apartment promising to pay them for sex.

Report shared by The BBC

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