Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe was 'terrified of catching Covid' and 'glad to be in prison away from pandemic'

THE Yorkshire Ripper was terrified of catching Covid and was pleased to be in prison away from the pandemic, new letters have revealed.

Peter Sutcliffe, 74, jailed in 1981 for the murder of 13 women, died alone on Friday without shedding a tear for his victims after contracting the coronavirus.

Yet, despite falling victim to the bug, Sutcliffe told a pen-pal he was refusing visitors over fears he'd catch it and said he hoped an “effective vaccine” would be developed.

The serial killer was categorised as 'high risk' of dying from the disease due to his age, ill-health and being overweight.

He frequently discussed the lockdown and Covid-19 in regular letters to his anonymous long-time pen-pal and “best friend”.

On June 14, as the “horrible worldwide pandemic” was killing thousands in the UK, Sutcliffe actually revealed he was glad to be in prison, locked away from the virus.

He wrote: “The world is stuck with this Covid-19.

“Makes me feel much safer being in here with all that’s going on in the world.”

The Ripper has regularly spoke of his fears about contracting coronavirus in the months before he tested positive.

He first mentioned it on March 16 saying: “You be careful with this horrible virus about.”

And in May, he said: “Visits are going again but I won’t be bothering with them in the present circumstances.

“I’d rather wait until they’ve discovered an effective vaccine.”

He explained that visitors have to wear face masks and stay two metres away from inmates.

In July, he said he was “fed up” of the lockdown and said he was angry his lag pal couldn’t cook him a full English breakfast.

The following the month, he said he had tested negative along with his friend, a fellow inmate.

He wrote” “We’ve had our Covid-19 test done and both of us are Covid free.

“Lockdown still no change here and with all the new spikes going on outside these walls I don’t there will be any change until the new year.

“Healthwise we are both doing OK and getting on with life the best we can.”

However, on November 6, Sutcliffe was placed into isolation at HMP Frankland, County Durham, after contracting Covid.

He was rushed to intensive care as his symptoms worsened, reportedly refusing treatment from doctors at University Hospital of North Durham.

Sutcliffe was jailed in 1981 for 13 murders and seven attempted killings across the North of England in the 1970s.

He remains one of the UK's most reviled criminals.

But in letters to a pen pal – who he’d been writing to since 1988 – he described himself as “kind, gentle and caring”.

Sutcliffe had grown close with the man – who wishes to remain anonymous.

The Ripper in a letter said: “You have been like a close brother to me for many years and what we share is very important to me.”

His friend describes himself as a “Christian” and a “forgiving person” who called writing to the misogynist killer an “enjoyable hobby.”

Sutcliffe had to dictate his letters to a lag pal as his handwriting was poor after he lost most of his eyesight following an attack by a fellow inmate in 1997.


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