The Yorkshire Ripper Is Leaving Broadmoor

Photo: Getty Images.
Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, (with beard), is shown leaving court under heavy police guard after giving evidence after which, James Castello, a fellow inmate, in Parkhurst Jail, attacked him and caused a five inch gash on his face. Sutcliffe is serving a life sentence for the murder of 13 women in Yorkshire County.
The Yorkshire Ripper, who murdered 13 women and attempted to kill seven more, has spent 32 years in Broadmoor psychiatric hospital after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1984.

But Peter Sutcliffe, who now calls himself Peter Coonan, is to be transferred to a prison after being deemed no longer mentally ill, the BBC reported.
Sutcliffe targeted women in Greater Manchester and Yorkshire for five years in the late 1970s. Most of his victims were prostitutes, who he mutilated before beating them to death.

Sutcliffe, a former lorry driver, was caught after police found him in his car with a prostitute, a fake licence plate and weapons including a screwdriver and hammer.
He was given 20 life sentences for his crimes in 1981 and spent three years in a prison on the Isle of Wight before receiving his mental illness diagnosis and being transferred to high-security Broadmoor. He has been there ever since.

At the time of his trial, three psychiatrists who assessed him said his illness drove him to kill, along with a belief that he was on a “divine mission".

However, a mental health tribunal has now said the 70-year-old is sane enough to return to prison.
Some have previously pointed out that there is no cure for schizophrenia, only treatment to manage the symptoms, and there is no guarantee Sutcliffe won't become unwell again. He will likely need to be closely monitored by mental health professionals during the transition between institutions.

Others weren't surprised by the tribunal ruling to move Sutcliffe back to prison.

Dr Stephen Shaw, a retired criminal psychiatrist who interviewed Sutcliffe after his arrest, told the BBC he saw him in Armley, a prison in Leeds, when he was on remand.

"He was no more a schizophrenic than I was. I thought this guy was not mentally ill," Shaw added.

The mental health tribunal's decision will need to be approved by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) before the murderer can be moved.

"Peter Coonan will remain locked up and will never be released for his evil crimes," said a spokesman from the MOJ.

"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 2010 that Peter Coonan should never be released. This was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

"Our thoughts are with Coonan's victims and their families," the spokesman added.
Photo: Getty Images.
September 1979: Six of the young women murdered by Peter Sutcliffe, known as the Yorkshire Ripper. Top left to right; Vera Millward, Jayne MacDonald, Josephine Whittaker and bottom left to right; Jean Royle, Helga Rytka and Barbara Leach.

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