British banker Rurik Jutting found guilty of grisly double murder

Former British banker found guilty in murder trial
Former British banker found guilty in murder trial

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Story highlights

  • Jutting admitted to killing the two women, both found dead in his apartment in 2014
  • Judge says case was one of most horrifying ever to have come to court

Hong Kong (CNN)A British banker plumbed "the very depths of depravity" during his brutal murders of two Indonesian women, a Hong Kong judge said on Tuesday, describing him as the "archetypal sexual predator."

"He described himself as evil and a monster and neither description is adequate to bring home the true horror of what he did to that woman," Judge Michael Stuart-Moore said during sentencing.
    Rurik Jutting, 31, was found guilty on Tuesday of the 2014 murders of two young Indonesian women, in a gruesome case which shocked Hong Kong.
    During two weeks of evidence, the court heard chilling iPhone recordings which Jutting, then 29, made while high on cocaine, before and after killing the two women in his upscale Wan Chai apartment.
    "(This is) one of the most horrifying murder cases to ever come before the courts in Hong Kong," Stuart-Moore said.
    Jutting had pleaded not guilty to the murder charges, claiming "diminished responsibility." He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, with his defense arguing that psychological issues affected his judgment at the time of the killings.
    The jury returned a unanimous verdict on both counts. He will now serve concurrent mandatory life sentences in jail.
    British ex-banker Rurik Jutting walks through a courtyard at the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre shortly before boarding a high security prison van on 01 November 2016.
    While the verdict was read out, the accused sat still, looking silently ahead.
    In a statement released by Jutting through his lawyers, Jutting said he accepted the verdict as "just."
    "I remain haunted daily by the memory of my actions ... and by the knowledge of the acute pain I have caused," the statement read.
    "I am sorry. I am sorry beyond words."
    The judge said he didn't accept Jutting's statement, saying he had shown "not a shred" of remorse and it was the first time he had expressed such sentiment.
    "Let no one be fooled by the defendant's superficial charm. Because that is what it is," Stuart-Moore said.

    Victims' families 'devastated'

    In statements read to the court, the families of victims Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih wrote of their distress and pain since their loved ones' deaths.
    "The family was devastated over her death as she was the only daughter and the main support for the parent," Mujiasih's family said.
    They said they regretted letting Seneng leave for Hong Kong a second time after she returned to Indonesia in 2009.
    "If she did not leave, she would not have died," the statement said.
    Ningsih's brother, Suyitno, said they wanted compensation for his sister's murder.
    "(Sumarti) was our only breadwinner. Our parents are getting older and incapable to perform heavy work," he said.
    "Sumarti's seven-year-old son has no more guarantee for his future."

    Two murders in six days

    On October 27, Jutting killed 23-year-old Ningsih after keeping her captive in his flat for three days. He tortured and degraded her, filming on his iPhone, before slashing her throat in the shower.
    Three days later, on November 1, with Ningsih's body in a suitcase on his balcony, Jutting killed 26-year-old Mujiasih after she wouldn't stop calling for help, minutes after entering his apartment.
     Police officers stand guard at High Court during the arrival of British banker Rurik Jutting on October 24, 2016 in Hong Kong.
    Over the course of the six days in his apartment, Jutting made numerous videos on his phone, describing his plans for future torture and his fears of being caught.
    Before the trial began the judge warned prospective jurors the evidence would be "very disturbing indeed," especially the footage recorded on Jutting's iPhone.

    Disturbing torture videos

    Jutting had met Ningsih before, via Craigslist. She agreed to go back to his flat for money, where Jutting would later tell police the sex "went from consensual to non-consensual." After three days of torture, Jutting killed Ningsih.
    Three days later, after considering suicide and escape, he instead went to a sex shop and hardware store to prepare for his next victim.
    "In this bag we have cord, zip ties, what's this, oh it's a big hammer," Jutting said in an iPhone video played to the jury.
    Jutting slit Mujiashi's throat when she refused his orders to stop yelling for help after she discovered a makeshift gag hidden beneath a couch pillow.
    After attacking her, Jutting recorded another video: "I imagine this will be my last movie... there will be no redemption for me. They will be with angels."

    'Depraved drug and alcohol addict'

    Former banker set for trial in Hong Kong killings
    Rurik Jutting Hong Kong murder background_00000619

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    Both sides accepted the major facts of this case -- Jutting had killed both the women.
    The verdict hinged solely on the issue of "diminished responsibility," whether his mental state at the time of the killings substantially impaired his responsibility.
    If the jurors believed as much, Judge Stuart-Moore had instructed them to to find for the lesser charge of manslaughter, not murder.
    Jutting's lawyers argued that he suffered from a debilitating combination of mental problems -- alcohol and cocaine addiction, a narcissistic personality and a sexual sadism disorder.
    By the time of the killings, Jutting told prison psychiatrists he was consuming up to 10 grams of cocaine and two liters of spirits a day.
    Members of Asian Migrants Coordinating Body (AMCB) protest outside the High Court on October 24, 2016 in Hong Kong.
    "The young man earning several million Hong Kong dollars a year had become a bloated, unshaven, permanently intoxicated, isolated, depraved drug and alcohol addict whose mind was permanently obsessing about sadistic sexual fantasies," defense lawyer Tim Owen told the court.
    But the prosecution asserted that Jutting was in control of his behavior and deliberately took more and more cocaine as "dutch courage" to enable him to torture and ultimately kill.
    Prosecutor John Reading told the jury Jutting killed Ningsih because he realized she could have turned him into the police for torturing her and later killed Mujiasih because he lost his temper when she "did not obey him."