By James Simons-
An inquest into the death of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe will take place today, 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. The beast tested positive for coronavirus on November 5, and had been suffering from diabetes and heart disease, known risk factors for Covid-19.
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.
Sutcliffe, who later changed his name to Coonan, had been suffering from increasing breathlessness and needed additional levels of oxygen before his death.
The serial killer murdered 13 women during a reign of terror He was sentenced to 20 concurrent sentences of life imprisonment, which were converted to a whole life order in 2010. West Yorkshire Police was criticised for its failure to catch Sutcliffe despite having interviewed him nine times in the course of its five-year investigation
The inquest will be held by Assistant Senior Coroner for County Durham Crispin Oliver at Crook Civic Centre who 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.