No decision on British banker Rurik Jutting’s appeal against double murder conviction
The Cambridge graduate, who was sentenced in November last year, will learn his fate at a later date after court reserves decision
Rurik Jutting, the British banker jailed for life in Hong Kong for brutally murdering two Indonesian women, will learn his fate another day, after a court on Wednesday decided to reserve its decision on his appeal.
The Cambridge graduate, who was sentenced in November last year, stood up in the dock and appeared calm when he received the news.
Despite initially saying he would not appeal, the former Bank of America Merrill Lynch employee eventually lodged a bid to clear his name beginning with a hearing at the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.
His lawyers accused the judge who had presided over his trial of not properly directing the jury on Jutting’s mental state at the time of the deaths. However, Hong Kong’s secretary for justice argued what the judge had done was appropriate.
After hearing their arguments in the space of a day and a half, appeal court vice-president Mr Justice Michael Lunn, Justice of Appeal Andrew Macrae and Court of First Instance judge Kevin Zervos reserved their decision, which will be announced on a later day.
“Mr Jutting, the court will reserve its judgment and, in due course, will deliver the judgment,” Lunn told the Briton.
“Yes, my lord,” he answered.
Jutting, 32, was convicted and jailed for life by deputy judge Michael Stuart-Moore on November 8 last year.
A nine-member jury unanimously found the former banker guilty of murdering Sumarti Ningsih, 23, and Seneng Mujiasih, 26, at his Wan Chai flat between late October and early November 2014.
Jutting offered both women money for sex before he killed them, videoing himself during part of the process, which provided evidence that was used in court against him.
Prosecutors told the court that Jutting, fuelled by cocaine and alcohol, tortured Sumarti for three days with “increasingly cruel acts of violence using his belt, sex toys, a pair of pliers and his fists” until he eventually slit her throat, around October 27.
Five days later, he took Seneng back to his flat and cut her throat too.
He never denied killing the two, but claimed he was affected by impaired mental conditions and should be found guilty of manslaughter instead of murder, using a “diminished responsibility” defence.
On Tuesday, Jutting was back in court for the appeal, with his lawyers claiming the trial judge had made mistakes when directing the jury.
Jutting’s barrister, Gerard McCoy SC, argued that Stuart-Moore had damaged the defence’s case when he told the jury to consider whether the banker had a narcissistic personality disorder and a sexual sadism disorder.
McCoy said that hurt his client because while a disorder can cause an abnormal mind, a person’s mental state could be abnormal without a disorder.
Only an abnormal mind was sufficient for the jury to consider that defence, he argued.
“The case turned to the word ‘disorder’,” McCoy said, arguing that Stuart-Moore had put unnecessary emphasis on whether a full-blown disorder was the cause of Jutting’s mental state at the time of the killings.
This damaged his client’s case, he said, because while not all experts who testified said Jutting suffered from a disorder, they all said he showed traits of the disorders that fell far outside the normal range of an ordinary person.