Ripper set for transfer back to ordinary prison
After 31 years in Broadmoor, killer is deemed no longer mentally ill
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