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'Sexual predator' gets life for killing two Indonesian women

10 November 2016

Rurik Jutting
by Daisy CL Mandap
He sat, unmoved, as the nine-man jury unanimously adjudged him guilty on two counts of murder, prompting a muted applause from a section of the courtroom.
He remained stoic as the judge imposed the prescribed sentences for his offence: two concurrent life sentences.
And just as he was led away from the dock, 31-year-old Rurik Jutting showed just the slightest sign of emotion, a slow release of air, as if he had just come out of a classroom examination.
In reality, Jutting, a high-flying British investment banker, was on that day, Nov. 7, convicted at Hong Kong's High Court
of bludgeoning to death two Indonesian women he had picked up from bars near his Wanchai flat two years ago.
He pleaded not guilty to murder but to manslaughter on the ground of “diminished responsibility”.
He claimed his judgment had been impaired by his cocaine and alcohol abuse and a narcissistic and sexual-sadism disorder, but the jury rejected this.
The killings of Sumarti Ningsih, 23 and Seneng Mujiasih, 26, were done so savagely that in sentencing, Justice Michael Stuart-Moore declined to accept an apology that Jutting offered to the victims’ families by way of a letter read out in court.
“Let no one be fooled by the defendant’s superficial charm,” said the judge. “He has not shown any shred of remorse”.
Press people jostle for space outside the High Court
The judge also said that if he were sentencing Jutting in a court in the United Kingdom, he would have sentenced him to a full life term, which was not available in Hong Kong.
His life terms here means he could be available for a periodic review of his sentence.
Taking note of Jutting’s request that he be sent to the UK to serve out his sentence in line with a mutual pact between Hong Kong and Britain, Judge Stuart Moore said he would make sure “the English authorities would know the type of person they will have to deal with.”
The judge then recalled how Jutting killed his victims in what he said was one of the “most horrific” cases to have been heard in Hong Kong.
Opening the trial 10 days earlier, he also called the case “strange” as the most incriminating evidence against Jutting was the video recording that he himself made on his Iphone before, and immediately after, the killings.
Jutting's flat in Wanchai where he killed his victims
The judge recalled how Jutting had picked up Sumarti on Oct 24, 2014, then tortured and abused her for three days before killing her. He then put her body in the shower, before stuffing it into a suitcase he left in his balcony.
Sumarti was reportedly too scared to resist. “No wonder she was scared, she weighed 37 kilos,” said the judge.
At the time, Jutting himself weighed about 90 kilos, but had trimmed down considerably by the start of his trial.
The court heard earlier that Jutting had a previous encounter with the victim, who was so spooked by that initial experience that she had to be paid a huge sum to go with him again.
“What made this worse was he actually knew and liked the victim”, the judge said.
Sumarti's relatives had said in a separate interview that the victim had complained about Jutting stalking him, although he also reportedly offered to marry her.
In a recording he made after killing Sumarti, Jutting spoke of how the experience had given him a high that made him decide to look for a prey so he could do it again.
This prey turned out to be Seneng, who like Sumarti, had left her Central Java hometown to work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong, and later moonlighted as a sex worker to provide much-needed support to her family back home.
But it took Jutting four days to do the stalking for his next victim because he decided to equip himself well for the kill, as if it were a sport. He bought about $7,000 worth of paraphernalia from a sex shop and a hardware, which included a blowtorch, hammer, nails, sandpaper, ropes and a gag.
He later told police Seneng had shouted on seeing the “monstrous” gag he had left lying around, so he killed her.
“I cut her, when she tried to struggle, I cut her more deeply,” he said.
Seneng’s throat was cut so savagely that it left a wound 28 cm wide.
By then, Jutting had become delirious from the combined effect of drugs, alcohol and lack of sleep that he imagined police and “special forces” were about to seize him. He eventually called 999 and offered to surrender. The police instead sent officers to his home where they uncovered the grisly crimes.
During the two years before his trial Jutting was interviewed by psychiatrists who noted his incredibly high intelligence (he had an IQ of 137, which put him in the upper 2 percent of the world’s population) but also his sadistic and narcissistic tendencies.
Rurik, whose mother was born in Hong Kong to a Chinese mother and British father, came from a privileged background. He was educated in public schools in Surrey, England before attending Cambridge where where he took up history and law. After graduation in 2008, he joined Barclays in London. Two years later he moved to Bank of America Merrill Lynch where, simultaneous to moving up the corporate ladder, he began going on alcohol and cocaine binges.
The company relocated him to Hong Kong in September 2013 allegedly to “get him out of the way” following an investigation into a dubious tax product that he had tried to sell.
According to the defense, his move to Hong Kong accelerated his downward spiral. A year after his arrival, he met a cocaine dealer who supplied him with massive amounts of the drug on a regular basis that he was unable to work. At that time, he was earning $2.5 million a year, which Judge Stuart-Moore said “was a salary most people could only dream of”.
In contrast, the family members of his victims are so poor that they could not even go to Hong Kong and attend the trial.
The Mission for Migrant Workers is helping them get full justice by filing a civil claim against Jutting on their behalf.
Mission’s general manager Cynthia Tellez, “We have been instructed by the families to file the case. We are only about to do it now because it took quite awhile for the death certificates to be released”.
Jutting, meanwhile, is apparently not seeking an appeal. His solicitor, Michael Vidler said, “The jury has spoken”.
But if he were to remain in Hong Kong, Jutting may not end up spending the rest of his life in jail. Vidler said there would be a periodic review of his sentence, with the first one likely to be held five years from now.

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