Court rejects appeal by British banker Rurik Jutting over double murder

Rurik Jutting seen as he arrives in court for his original trial in 2016.

Story highlights

  • Jutting tortured and murdered two women in Hong Kong in 2014
  • His lawyers accepted he had killed them, but argued he had diminished responsibility due to a variety of psychological factors

Hong Kong (CNN)A Hong Kong court has rejected an appeal by Rurik Jutting, the British banker jailed for murdering two women in 2014.

Jutting appeared before the city's Court of Appeal in December to argue that he had not received a fair trial but judges on Friday upheld his two concurrent mandatory life sentences for torturing and killing two Indonesian women, Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih.
    "There is no merit whatsoever in this ground of appeal," the court said in its judgment.
    Jutting's victims Seneng Mujiasih and Sumarti Ningsih.

    'Wrong' direction

    Jutting was found guilty in 2016 of torturing and killing the two women in a luxury residential tower in the city's Wan Chai district.
    It was one of the most high profile trials in Hong Kong history. After the jury issued a unanimous guilty verdict, Judge Michael Stuart-Moore described Jutting as an "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," Stuart-Moore said.
    However, Jutting's lawyers argued that Stuart-Moore misdirected the jury when explaining how they should judge Jutting's state of mind.
    Jutting's lawyers argued that he suffered from a debilitating combination of mental problems -- alcohol and cocaine addiction, narcissistic personality disorder and sexual sadism disorder.
    His barrister, Gerard McCoy SC, said under law the test for diminished responsibility should be whether Jutting had "abnormal mental functioning" as a result of his mental problems.
    However, he argued Stuart-Moore instructed the jury to impose a stricter guideline of whether the defendant had an actual medical disorder, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a widely accepted standard published by the American Psychiatric Association.
    He gave the example of a person having 70% of the symptoms of a mental disorder still being of abnormal mind, even if they could not be officially diagnosed, something he said witness testimony in the original trial supported.
    "(Stuart-Moore) has narrowed down and therefore taken away from the jury the proper consideration of what is an abnormality of mind," McCoy said. "All four medical experts ... found that the applicant was suffering from an abnormality of mind because he had impaired mental functioning."
    Police officers stand guard at High Court during Jutting's original trial on October 24, 2016.

    Two murders in six days

    On October 27, 2014, Jutting killed 23-year-old Ningsih after keeping her captive in his flat for three days. He tortured and degraded her, filming the acts 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.
    Over the course of the six days in his apartment, Jutting made numerous videos on his phone, describing his plans for future torture and fears of being caught.
    In handing down the original verdict, Stuart-Moore said Jutting had failed to show a "shred of remorse" and urged that "no one be fooled by (his) superficial charm."