Peter Sutcliffe: Yorkshire Ripper moved from Broadmoor psychiatric hospital to prison

Peter Sutcliffe murdered 13 women and attempted to kill seven others between 1976 and 1981

Alexandra Sims
Thursday 25 August 2016 20:17 BST
Peter Sutcliffe was moved to Broadmoor in 1984 after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia
Peter Sutcliffe was moved to Broadmoor in 1984 after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia (Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

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Mass murderer Peter Sutcliffe, known as the Yorkshire Ripper, has been moved to prison after being held for more than 30 years in Broadmoor psychiatric hospital.

The 70-year-old spent 32 years in the high-security institution in Berkshire after murdering 13 women and attempting to kill seven others between 1976 and 1981.

Sutcliffe, who has been in Broadmoor since 1984 after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia following his life sentence in 1981, will continue to have his mental health monitored and could be returned to a psychiatric hospital if there is a change in his condition.

Reports of the move first emerged in August, when a mental health tribunal ruled him sane enough to be moved back to jail.

The tribunal’s decision was later transferred to the Ministry of Justice.

He is thought to have been moved to Frankland prison in Durham on Wednesday, the BBC reports.

Sutcliffe, a former lorry driver from Bradford, now calls himself Peter Coonan. Most of his victims were prostitutes who were mutilated and beaten to death.

Sutcliffe was given 20 life terms for the murders and was caught when police found him with a prostitute in his car.

They became suspicious and found he had a fake licence plate and weapons including a screwdriver and hammer in the boot.

Before being moved to Broadmoor Sutcliffe spent three years at Pankhurst prison on the Isle of Wight.

It has been estimated the move will save the tax payer hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Figures show it costs around £325,000 per year to keep a patient at Broadmoor, compared with around £45,000 per year in a category A prison.

Speaking about the transfer a Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “Peter Coonan will remain locked up and will never be released for his evil crimes.

”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."

Additional reporting by Press Association

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