Rip­per set for trans­fer back to or­di­nary prison

Af­ter 31 years in Broad­moor, killer is deemed no longer men­tally ill

Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Tom Witherow

THE York­shire Rip­per could be moved to a top-se­cu­rity prison af­ter psy­chi­a­trists de­cided he was no longer men­tally ill, it was re­ported last night.

Peter Sut­cliffe, 69, has been in Broad­moor, a high-se­cu­rity psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal, since 1984 af­ter be­ing sen­tenced to con­cur­rent life terms for mur­der­ing 13 women in the West York­shire and Manch­ester ar­eas.

Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Michael Gove will now de­cide whether the se­rial killer should be moved into a spe­cial­ist prison unit, The Sun re­ported.

Sut­cliffe, for­merly di­ag­nosed with para­noid schizophre­nia, is said to be fu­ri­ous at the prospect of leav­ing the hos­pi­tal, where he has a Freeview TV and a DVD player in his room.

The High Court ruled in 2009 that Sut­cliffe should never be re­leased, and doc­tors have pre­vi­ously said the killer can not be held at a medium- se­cu­rity prison be­cause staff would be un­able to pro­tect him against other inmates.

If he is moved to a jail, he is likely to be put in a small unit where he can be pro­tected round the clock.

The son of Sut­cliffe’s first vic­tim, Wilma McCann, said: ‘If that’s what the Min­istry of Jus­tice de­cide, I’m fine with that.’

Au­thor Richard McCann, 46, was just five when his mother was killed aged 28 in 1975. He added: ‘I can un­der­stand why some peo­ple want to see him in prison.

‘None of this will bring my mum back and where he is locked up does not re­ally change any­thing.’

A Min­istry of Jus­tice 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.’

Ac­cord­ing to The Sun, the se­rial killer is not happy to be leav­ing the more re­laxed set­ting of the hos­pi­tal – telling a friend, ‘it’s a dis­as­ter’ – and is said to be on sui­cide watch af­ter learn­ing he could be moved.

Dr Kevin Mur­ray, a psy­chi­a­trist who had been in charge of Sut­cliffe’s care, said in a 2006 report that he posed a ‘low risk of re­of­fend­ing’. Two years ago Tony Maden, the former head of the dan­ger­ous se­vere per­son­al­ity disor­der unit at Broad­moor, said pa­tients such as Sut­cliffe should be re­turned to prison.

Pro­fes­sor Maden, pro­fes­sor of foren­sic psy­chi­a­try at Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don, said: ‘We are far too ready to keep men­tally dis­or­dered prison­ers in places like Broad­moor in­def­i­nitely, par­tic­u­larly if they are fa­mous.

‘I think it’s about celebrity, I can’t think of any other rea­son why a hos­pi­tal would want to hang on to some­body when es­sen­tially the con­di­tion is sta­ble.’

The news comes af­ter it emerged that Sut­cliffe may change his name so no-one can des­e­crate his grave.

West Lon­don Men­tal Health NHS Trust, which runs Broad­moor, said it could not com­ment.

It costs tax­pay­ers more than £300,000 a year to de­tain him in Broad­moor, at least five times the cost of a prison cell.

‘He should never be re­leased’

Life in jail: Sut­cliffe in the 1 80s

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