British banker Rurik Jutting understood what he was doing and was aware of the consequences when he killed two Indonesian women in his Hong Kong apartment, a psychiatrist told his trial Wednesday, as the defence argued her testimony was “absurd”.
Jutting, 31, has pleaded not guilty to two murder charges, instead pleading guilty to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility — which was rejected by the prosecution.
Cambridge graduate Jutting is accused of murdering Sumarti Ningsih, 23, and Seneng Mujiasih, 26, two years ago, slashing their throats after saying he would pay them for sex.
He tortured Ningsih inside his apartment for three days before killing her and stuffing her body in a suitcase found on his balcony.
The defence has argued that Jutting was not in full control of his actions at the time of the killing due to heavy cocaine and alcohol use.
But forensic psychiatrist Kavin Chow, testifying for the prosecution, said although Jutting was impaired and disinhibited by cocaine and alcohol he had not completely lost control.
“He understood the nature of the act… and was aware of the consequences of the killings,” said Chow.
She also disagreed with the argument from a psychiatrist and a psychologist for the defence that Jutting had full-blown narcissistic personality disorder, instead saying that he had only exhibited narcissistic traits.
Defence counsel Tim Owen questioned how Chow could argue that Jutting was in control of the amount of cocaine he was taking when she agreed that his abuse of it was severe and that he was consuming it round-the-clock.
“I suggest your evidence on this issue is absurd, it’s contradictory,” he said.
According to a report from Chow read to the court, Jutting said he had given his first victim, Ningsih, opportunities to leave his apartment. Ningsih had “appeared terrified” and did not go.
On the third day Jutting wrapped a towel around her neck and decided to see if she accepted death, the report said. He cut her throat and was “horrified afterwards”, Chow’s report said.
When Jutting’s second victim Mujiasih struggled and cried, Jutting decided she should be punished, said Chow.
In her report, she described him as “cold and callous”, especially with girlfriends, and said he had increased his cocaine use in 2013 following a relationship break-up.
Jutting was “superficially charming”, had no long-term close friends and only talked to his brother, she said.
The jury will not sit tomorrow as the court hears legal arguments. Final speeches from prosecution and defence take place Friday.
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