Yorkshire Ripper told he was going to die from Covid a day before his death

THE Yorkshire Ripper was told he was dying the day before he passed away from Covid, a court heard.

Peter Sutcliffe’s lungs had failed and doctors informed him that there was nothing more that could be done for him, his inquest was told.

He was moved into palliative care on November 12 last year and died the following morning at 1.45am in the University Hospital of North Durham.

Sutcliffe had been suffering from heart disease and was fitted with a pacemaker on November 2.

That procedure was uneventful but three day later he tested positive for coronavirus.

He was transferred to hospital from Durham’s HMP Frankland – where he was serving life for murder – but he continued to deteriorate.

Crispin Oliver, the senior assistant coroner for County Durham and Darlington, heard evidence from pathologist Dr Clive Bloxham who carried out the post mortem following Sutcliffe's death.

Dr Bloxham's report described Sutcliffe as suffering from “increasing breathlessness" when he was taken to hospital and said he had “increasing oxygen requirements".

He added in his report: "On November 12 he was judged to be dying. After a full discussion with the patient he was transferred to palliative care and died on November 13 at 1.45am.

"The post mortem confirmed he had severe ischemic heart disease with critical stenosis of all three major coronial arteries, including an old posterior myocardial infarction.

"He also had left ventricular hypertrophy, possibly due to pre-existing hypertension and a nodular liver suggested early cirrhosis.

"The main finding was very heavy, solid and airless lungs, typical of Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, which is characteristic of an individual dying of Covid-19 infection."

Covid-19 was said to be a "contributory condition" to his death from natural causes.

Sutcliffe’s death is being investigated by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, which investigates any fatality behind bars.

The inquest was adjourned pending that report. The full hearing will take place later this year.

The 15-minute hearing was told that Sutcliffe's ex-wife Sonia was his next of kin and is being kept informed of the progress of the inquest.

Sutcliffe – who changed his name by deed poll to Coonan, his mother’s maiden name, in 2001 – killed 13 women and left nine others for dead in a reign of terror across northern England starting in 1975.

He was arrested in Sheffield in 1981 and sentenced to life at the Old Bailey in May 1981. He spent three years in prison before being transferred to Broadmoor suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

After 32 years he was deemed stable by docs and was moved to top security Frankland in Durham in 2016.


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