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Monday 19 March 2018

Ripper should return to prison, says victim's son

The 'Yorkshire Ripper' Peter Sutcliffe on his wedding day
The 'Yorkshire Ripper' Peter Sutcliffe on his wedding day

Sam Dean and Dave Higgins

The Yorkshire Ripper should be returned to prison after psychiatrists said he was no longer mentally ill, according to the son of the first woman killed by Peter Sutcliffe.

Richard McCann was commenting on a recommendation from doctors that Sutcliffe (69) is taken out of Broadmoor Hospital, the high-security psychiatric centre in Berkshire where he's been for 31 years, and moved into a specialist prison unit.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said the final decision on whether Sutcliffe will be moved would be made by Justice Secretary Michael Gove.

An MoJ spokesman said: "Decisions over whether prisoners are to be sent back to prison from secure hospitals are based on clinical assessments made by independent medical staff.

"The High Court ordered in 2009 that Sutcliffe should never be released. This was then upheld by the Court of Appeal.

"Our thoughts are with Sutcliffe's victims and their families."

Mr McCann's mother was the first of 13 women murdered by Sutcliffe, when he attacked her in Leeds in October 1975.

He said his first reaction was that he did not think it mattered where Sutcliffe was held.

But he said: "Having thought about it, I guess it does matter. It doesn't bring my mum back, but it does matter because it's costly for him to be in there and he's living more freely than your typical prisoner.

"So, if it's deemed that his mental health would allow him to go back into the normal prison regime, well I think that's right. I don't say that in anger. I think it is the right thing for him to go back in prison."

He added: "But I don't lose any sleep about the fact he's in Broadmoor."

Mr McCann, who was five when his mother was brutally murdered, said what really mattered to him and his family was that Sutcliffe was never released.

He said he had not had any official confirmation of the decision about Sutcliffe's mental health.

Sutcliffe was given 20 life terms for the murder of 13 women and the attempted murder of seven others in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester after being convicted at the Old Bailey in 1981.

Irish Independent

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