The Yorkshire Ripper will never be freed
after losing an appeal against his whole life sentence.
Peter Sutcliffe, 64, must stay under guard because his crimes, which included 13 killings and seven attempted murders, were ‘at the extreme end of horror’
, Britain’s top judge ruled yesterday.
The serial killer hired a team of leading barristers costing taxpayers around £400,000 to appeal against his whole life tariff, arguing that his mental disorder justified a minimum jail term.
But in the Court of Appeal the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith and Mr Justice Griffith Williams rejected the appeal, saying that his crimes were of the ‘utmost brutality’.
Dubbed the Ripper due to the way he mutilated the bodies of his female victims using a hammer, a sharpened screwdriver and a knife
, Sutcliffe has been held at Broadmoor top-security psychiatric hospital since 1984.
At his Old Bailey trial in 1981, he claimed he heard God’s voice telling him to murder prostitutes
But a jury rejected his defence of diminished responsibility on the grounds that he was mentally ill.
His lawyers produced doctors’ reports indicating that Sutcliffe, who is morbidly obese, virtually blind and very frail, had experienced a dramatic improvement in his mental health and was not ‘uniquely dangerous’.
But Lord Judge ruled that he should get no credit for any progress
, saying: ‘We are not, of course, suggesting that the man who perpetrated these crimes was in any ordinary sense of the words “normal” or “average”.
‘The sheer abnormality of his actions themselves suggest some element of mental disorder.’