Free Press Journal

UK serial killer no longer mentally ill, may move back to jail


London: One of the world’s most notorious serial killer, known as the Yorkshire Ripper, is no longer mentally ill and could be returned to jail in the UK. Peter Sutcliffe, who murdered 13 women in the UK in the 1970s, has been housed at high-security Broadmoor Hospital mental health facility in Berkshire. The 69-year-old was sentenced to 20 life terms in 1981 and move to the hospital from Parkhurst jail on the Isle of Wight in 1984 when he was found to have paranoid schizophrenia.

He refused treatment until 1993, when the UK’s Mental Health Commission ruled that it should be given forcibly. He could now be moved to a specialist prison unit in Wakefield, Yorkshire to protect him from other inmates. Psychiatrist Dr Kevin Murray told Sutcliffe last week that his treatment had concluded, the Sun reported.

“Decisions over whether prisoners are to be sent back to prison from secure hospitals are based on clinical assessments made by independent medical staff. Our thoughts are with Sutcliffe’s victims and their families,” a spokesperson for the UK’s Ministry of Justice said.

At his trial, Sutcliffe claimed that the voice of God had sent him on a mission to kill and he pleaded not guilty on the ground of diminished responsibility. After 31 years in captivity at Berkshire-based Broadmoor, where he has a TV and DVD player in his room, he is reportedly reluctant to leave.

In 2010, the High Court ordered Sutcliffe, who was given 20 life sentences, should never be released. His application to take the case to the Supreme Court was rejected the following year.

Sutcliffe carried out his murder spree over a five-year period in the Leeds and Bradford areas of West Yorkshire and most of his victims were prostitutes. After his arrest in January 1981 for driving with false number-plates, police questioned him about the killings and he confessed that he was the perpetrator.