British banker jailed in HK for murder is an 'extreme danger to women'
The judge called his actions "sickening in the extreme and beyond a normal person's imagination".
The gruesome tale of torture, rape and murder, which played out in the Hong Kong High Court over 10 days, came to a predictable end yesterday.
British investment banker Rurik Jutting, 31, was sentenced to life in prison for the 2014 murder of two Indonesian women – Ms Sumarti Ningsih, 23, and Ms Seneng Mujiasih, 26.
The four women and five men who made up the jury returned unanimous verdicts on both counts after less than six hours of deliberation yesterday, pronouncing Jutting guilty of both murders.
As soon as the verdicts were delivered by Justice Michael Stuart-Moore, the crowded public gallery broke out in applause.
The court room was packed to the brim with people who included local and foreign journalists and migrant worker activists and was so full that the doors could not be closed.
Jutting, who was clean-shaven and dressed in a blue collared shirt and dress pants, remained expressionless as the sentence was read out.
As he was escorted out by security personnel, he breathed heavily and furrowed his brows.
Before sentencing him, Justice Stuart-Moore said that Jutting was an "archetypal sexual predator" who presents an "extreme danger to women".
"There are insufficient superlatives to describe what he did," he added.
Jutting, in a handwritten statement read by his lawyer Tim Owen, expressed horror and remorse at his own crimes, saying he remained "haunted" by what he had done.
"My actions... were horrific even by the standards of a homicide drama," his statement said, noting that he had caused "acute pain" to the victims' families.
"The evil I have inflicted can never be remedied by me, in words or actions... For whatever it may be worth... I'm sorry beyond words."
His lawyers told the court that Jutting will apply to serve his sentence in Britain, where prisoners can, in some cases, apply for parole after a fixed number of years. Such transfers are possible under the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Agreement between Hong Kong and Britain.
Justice Stuart-Moore acknowledged the application, but said he would inform the British authorities of "exactly what type of danger he (Jutting) poses".
The case had grabbed headlines worldwide for the brutal manner in which the former Bank of America Merrill Lynch employee had killed his helpless victims at his upscale Wan Chai district apartment. The women had gone to his apartment after he offered them money for sex.
Fuelled by cocaine and alcohol, he tortured Ms Ningsih for three days and recorded parts of the torture on his phone. The jury was forced to watch the clips.
Jutting killed her by slashing her throat in his bathroom. He then stuffed her body into a suitcase which he stored on his balcony.
In hours of self-recorded ranting on his iPhone after Ms Ningsih's murder, Jutting described his attacks on her using pliers, sex toys and a belt.
Days later, he murdered Ms Mujiasih by slashing her throat in his living room. Both women were found dead in Jutting's flat on Nov 1, 2014, after he called the police.
Jutting denied the murder charges and claimed trial when he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter on the grounds of "diminished responsibility" due to alcohol and drug abuse and sexual disorders at the time of the killings.
But over the course of the trial, the prosecution argued that he was able to form judgments and exercise self-control before and after the killings.
The evil I have inflicted can never be remedied by me, in words or actions... For whatever it may be worth... I'm sorry beyond words.
– Rurik Jutting in a handwritten statement read by his lawyer in court
Protesters gather outside courtroom
They had gathered in front of the Hong Kong High Court yesterday morning, waiting for the verdict on British banker Rurik Jutting.
The dozen or so protesters from the Network of Indonesian Migrant Workers and Asian Migrants' Coordinating Body (AMCB) carried placards bearing the names of the two victims, Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih, both Indonesians.
They demanded justice for the victims and wanted an end to violence towards women.
Ms Sringatin, a spokesman for AMCB, said: "Justice for the two murder victims (is) also justice to all women migrants in Hong Kong and elsewhere in the world."
She also read statements from the families of the two victims.
"Since the death of Ms Mujiasih, her mother has been suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure which damaged her eyesight. Her father is unable to work any more because he needs to take care of his wife and elderly grandmother."
Ms Mujiasih's family added that they would be seeking compensation.