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Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 01:34

Defense emphasizes Jutting’s mental disorders

By Jon Lowe

HONG KONG - The trial of Rurik Jutting continued on Tuesday when the court heard evidence from a British psychologist about his early life, work and events leading to his arrest – as the defense tried to emphasize mental disorders it claims Jutting suffers from.

Professor Derek Perkins interviewed Jutting for 15 hours earlier this year, during which he performed psychometric testing– which measure a patient’s psychological traits. The psychologist concluded that Jutting had been shielded from his underlying behavioral and emotional problems by his success.

“He led a charmed life,” Perkins said. “But had he not had all these advantages, his personality could have led him into difficulties (sooner). His success protected him from such difficulties.”

The former Bank of America Merrill Lynch employee revealed that he had come under suspicion of wrongdoing at work in 2013, which led him to slowly unravel. He told Perkins he had been sent to Hong Kong from London later that year to “get him out of the way”.

Once in Hong Kong, his use of alcohol and cocaine had escalated, and he developed an obsession with sadistic and extreme pornography. Jutting used the services of female prostitutes and transsexuals – sometimes engaging in sadistic acts. The 31-year-old Englishman, who was arrested two years ago, also searched for male escorts on the internet and made trips to the Philippines where he met more prostitutes.

At one point, Jutting missed so much work due to his extracurricular activities he told his employers he had HIV. In the two weeks before the killings of Indonesian women Sumarti Ningsih, 23, and Seneng Mujasih, 26, he did not appear at work at all.

Perkins said Jutting told him he was seeking new thrills – particularly in the area of extreme sexual practices. He was fully aware that “taking cocaine allowed him to act out fantasies and enhanced his pleasure”.

The court on Monday heard from Dr Richard Latham, a psychiatrist, that Jutting had four mental disorders – a narcissistic personality disorder, a sexual sadism disorder and cocaine and alcohol use disorders. Jutting also revealed he had been sexually abused as a boy at Britain’s exclusive Winchester College and that he had witnessed his father trying to commit suicide when he was 16.

Perkins, who based his findings on the psychometric tests, largely concurred with Latham’s findings. But he added a fifth disorder to the list – an antisocial personality disorder.

Both experts believe Jutting carried out the killings spontaneously and that, unlike his attempts to derive pleasure from planned acts of drug-fueled sadism, the killings were not premeditated. Rather they were the product of desperation or a delusional state. Perkins added that in the case of Ningsih, she had been “drowning in blood”, so Jutting ended her life. But “the killing was not a fantasy”.

Discussing the tests, Perkins said Jutting showed high scores in psychotic tendencies, a sense of entitlement and a psychotic personality.

He said Jutting craved praise without reciprocating it, tried always to project strength, and created stories to enhance his self-worth. The psychologist said Jutting had frequently described his life with what he termed as unusual words such as “brilliance”, while criticism from others would be explained as “jealousy” or in similar expressions. Perkins said this matched very closely with the earlier diagnosis of a narcissistic personality disorder.

Perkins also said the tests showed Jutting found it difficult to “sacrifice immediate gratification for longer term goals”. The combination of drugs, extreme pornography, burgeoning sadism and lack of sleep undermined his ability to control his increasingly violent sexual urges. In his final few weeks at large, Perkins said, “He was in a state so removed from what it was before that it was moving him toward acts he would be unable to control.”
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