September 27, 2017 / 8:38 AM / 2 months ago

British banker to appeal conviction over HK double murders

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Former British banker Rurik Jutting, who was jailed for life in Hong Kong last year for the gruesome murders of two Indonesian women he tortured in his luxury apartment, is planning to appeal, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Rurik George Caton Jutting, a British banker charged with two counts of murder after police found the bodies of two women in his apartment, sitting in the back row of a prison bus as he arrives at the Eastern Law Courts in Hong Kong November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

Jutting, a former Bank of America Employee who is in his early thirties, denied murdering Sumarti Ningsih, 23, and Seneng Mujiasih, 26, in 2014 on the grounds of diminished responsibility due to alcohol and drug abuse and sexual disorders.

He had pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in a case that gripped world media due to graphic video footage seen by the jury and the brutality of the killings.

The jury unanimously found Jutting guilty of murder and he was sentenced to life in prison in the former British colony.

FILE PHOTO - Rurik Jutting (R), a 29-year-old British banker who has been charged with two counts of murder, sits in a police van as it arrives at a court in Hong Kong in this November 3, 2014 still image provided by Reuters TV. REUTERS/Reuters TV

Jutting’s lawyer Michael Vidler said his appeal hearing would take place on December 12. He added that the appeal would focus on the “directions given by the deputy judge to the jury”.

Cambridge educated Jutting had showed no emotion when the verdict was read out in an open courtroom last November, packed with international and local journalists.

It took the jury, made up of four women and five men, around six hours, including a lunch break, to reach its decision.

In closing remarks, the judge had described Jutting as the “archetypal sexual predator” who represented an extreme danger to women, especially in the sex trade.

He cautioned that the possibility of a repeat crime would have been very likely.

Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Michael Perry

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