British banker jailed for life for twin murders in Hong Kong

'This must rank as one of the more horrifying murder cases ever to come to court in Hong Kong,' judge Michael Stuart-Moore told the court.

File photo of former British banker Rurik Jutting. Jutting, 31, has been found guilty of murder of two Indonesian women in 2014 by a jury on 08 November 2016, according to media reports. Jerome Favre/EPA
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HONG KONG // British banker Rurik Jutting was jailed for life on Tuesday for the horrifying murder of two Indonesian women at his upscale Hong Kong apartment in a case the judge said was “sickening in the extreme”.

Cambridge graduate Jutting, 31, who tortured one victim for three days, 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 murder verdicts.

“This must rank as one of the more horrifying murder cases 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”.

He described the case as touching the “very depths of human depravity” and said Jutting had not shown a shred of remorse.

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

Murder in Hong Kong comes with a mandatory life sentence.

Mr Stuart-Moore said Jutting was “highly likely” to kill again if he were ever freed. Defence counsel Tim Owen had earlier told the court that Jutting would apply to transfer to a prison in the UK.

The former Winchester College public school student remained almost expressionless, breathing out heavily as he left the dock.

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.

Jutting killed Ningsih and then stuffed her body into a suitcase which he stored on his balcony.

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

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.

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

Both victims were from poor farming families in Indonesia and their relatives had relied on them for financial support.

Ningsih’s mother Suratmi, 51, said on Tuesday she was glad the court had reached its decision, but would never recover.

“I lost my child and the pain will never be cured,” she said, speaking from her home in Cilacap on Indonesia’s main island of Java.

She called for the Indonesian government to support her efforts to seek compensation from Jutting to help support Ningsih’s seven-year-old son, who lives with her in Indonesia.

In a letter read to the court by defence counsel Tim Owen after the verdicts, Jutting apologised to his victims’ families.

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

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry beyond words.”

But Mr 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 said.

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

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

But the prosecution argued he had been able to make controlled decisions.

“The defendant could and should have been able to exercise self control ... but he chose not to do so,” said Mr Stuart-Moore.

* Agence France-Presse