A Hong Kong jury was told on Friday about the rapid descent of a “superman” British investment banker to a “depraved drug and alcohol addict” when he killed two Indonesian women in his upmarket flat.
Rurik George Caton Jutting, a former Bank of America Merrill Lynch employee, pleaded not guilty to the murders of 23-year-old Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih, 26 on account of “diminished responsibility” resulting from multiple mental disorders of narcissism, sexual sadism, cocaine and alcohol abuse.
He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter – which was rejected by the prosecution.
The high-flying Cambridge graduate’s defence team said the accused appeared to have a “golden life” who went from earning £35,000 a year at Barclays in London, to £300,000 in Hong Kong at the age of 29.
But according to his defence lawyer, Tim Owen QC, Jutting had an “extraordinary secret life” by the time he was arrested on Nov 1, 2014.
“(Jutting) had become a bloated, unshaven, permanently intoxicated, isolated and depraved drug and alcohol addict…whose mind was permanently obsessed about sadistic sexual fantasies,” Owen told the jury in his closing speech.
Owen reminded the jury of Jutting’s privileged life, which began in leafy Surrey where he had “happy memories of living in an old house.”
He said Jutting had an IQ ranking among the top one per cent of the world’s population at 137 and was already described as “extremely bright” from a young age.
Owen said Jutting was taken to Winchester College by his mother, who told people that her son would attend the school one day.
“You have no idea how special my son is,” Jutting’s mother reportedly said.
His mother’s prediction came true and was excited when Jutting won a scholarship to Winchester. The court heard that Jutting was “almost insulted” by his mother’s reaction because it implied there was a chance he couldn’t get in.
Psychiatrists called by both the defence prosecution agree that Jutting had traits of a narcissistic personality but disagree on whether it amounted to a medical disorder.
But Jutting’s time at Winchester was not always happy. The court heard that he had been a “victim of sexual assault” by a male schoolmate and at the age of 16 he saved his father after an attempted suicide.
Owen said Jutting used to run away as a child at school, and he would continue to run away from things in adulthood. However, Jutting’s maternal grandmother was said to be a strict Chinese “tiger mother” from Hong Kong and her strong work ethic was passed down to the accused.
Jutting continued to excel in academics and he graduated from Peterhouse College, Cambridge, with first class honours in history and second class honours in law.
He explained his lower score in law to a forensic psychiatrist, who testified in court as a defence witness, that the law faculty didn’t understand his brilliance.
Owen said Jutting had dreamed of becoming a barrister or academic, but settled on doing complex tax calculations for wealthy clients first at Barclays then at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London.