British banker jailed for double murder seeks appeal

A British banker jailed for life for the horrifying murder of two Indonesian women at his upscale Hong Kong apartment in a cocaine fueled rampage is seeking to appeal his conviction, his lawyer said Wednesday. Cambridge University graduate Rurik Jutting tortured Sumarti Ningsih for three days filming parts of her ordeal on his phone before slashing her throat with a serrated knife and stuffing her body into a suitcase.

Days later, and with Ningish’s corpse rotting on his balcony, the former Bank of America worker picked up Seneng Mujiasih, intending to play out the same sick fantasies. But he killed her when she started screaming.

Judge Michael Stuart-Moore, who jailed Jutting for life in November, said it was “one of the most horrifying murder cases ever to come to court in Hong Kong”. Jutting’s lawyer Michael Vidler said on Wednesday that his client is seeking an appeal and a hearing would take place at the city’s Court of Appeal on December 12.

“The grounds of appeal focus on the directions given to the jury by the deputy judge,” Vidler said. In his ruling, Stuart-Moore asked the jury to set aside the dreadfulness of the crimes and focus instead on whether Jutting’s mental responsibility had been impaired.

Jutting, once a high-flying securities trader, had admitted manslaughter but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. His defense had argued that his self-control had been impaired by his heavy use of cocaine and alcohol, combined with narcissistic personality and sexual sadism disorders.

The jury in the grueling 10-day trial, where explicit and gruesome evidence was presented, rejected his claim. Stuart-Moore described Jutting as an “archetypal sexual predator” who presented an extreme danger to women and said he had known exactly what he was doing.

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