Inquest to take place into Yorkshire Ripper’s death

·1-min read
University Hospital of North Durham (PA) (PA Archive)
University Hospital of North Durham (PA) (PA Archive)

An inquest into the death of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe will take place on Wednesday, examining the last 17 days of his life.

Sutcliffe, also known as the Yorkshire Ripper, died aged 74 from Covid-19 on November 13 2020 after falling ill on October 27.

He had been serving a life sentence at HMP Frankland in Durham for the murders of 13 women in the 1970s, but was later transferred to the University Hospital of North Durham, where he died.

Before he was caught in 1980, his killing spree terrified much of northern England.

Twelve of the 13 victims of Peter Sutcliffe (PA) (PA Media)
Twelve of the 13 victims of Peter Sutcliffe (PA) (PA Media)

Sutcliffe, who later changed his name to Coonan, had been suffering from increasing breathlessness and needed additional levels of oxygen before his death.

The inquest will be held by Assistant Senior Coroner for County Durham Crispin Oliver at Crook Civic Centre.

He will hear evidence from HMP Frankland, Spectrum, which provides healthcare for prisoners, pathologist Dr Clive Bloxham, and Detective Sergeant Alistair Rogowski, from Durham Police.

He said the death in custody was from natural causes, does not have Human Rights Act implications and will not require a jury hearing.

Sutcliffe’s next of kin, his ex-wife Sonia, is aware of the proceedings and will be invited to make a statement.

The serial killer tested positive for coronavirus on November 5, and had been suffering from diabetes and heart disease, known risk factors for Covid-19.

He received palliative care before he died and a post-mortem examination confirmed severe heart disease, including stenosis of three coronary arteries, with the cause of death being Covid-19.

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