The Yorkshire Ripper had a pacemaker, used a wheelchair and was almost blind when he died from
Peter Sutcliffe, 74, had recently been diagnosed with coronavirus and passed away at the University Hospital of North Durham on November 13.
At a hearing held at Crook Civic Centre, coroner’s officer Sharon Carr confirmed his cause of death as SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, diabetes and ischemic heart disease.
The coroner’s officer said SARS-CoV-2 was ‘essentially the same as the Covid-19 infection’.
Peter Sutcliffe (pictured above in Frimley, Surrey, in 2015), 74, had recently been diagnosed with Covid-19 and passed away at the University Hospital of North Durham on November 13
Sutcliffe pictured on his wedding day with Sonia. The inquest heard how Sutcliffe was identified by a police officer following his death and his ex-wife was named as his next of kin
The serial killer, who murdered at least 13 women across the north of England in the late 1970s, had several underlying health conditions and was ‘almost blind’.
Before beginning the inquest, assistant senior coroner for County Durham and Darlington Crispin Oliver made a heartfelt tribute to all of Sutcliffe’s victims and passed on his ‘solidarity and support’.
His coroner officer confirmed Sutcliffe’s date of birth as June 2, 1946 and said he was born in North Yorkshire.
He was a prisoner at HMP Frankland in Durham which he moved to on August 24, 2016 when he was 70 years old.
The inquest heard how Sutcliffe was identified by a police officer following his death and his ex-wife was named as his next of kin.
Detective Inspector Claire Lambert from Durham Constabulary said they were made aware that Sutcliffe was ‘seriously ill’ and was taken into hospital on November 10.
She said: ‘On November 10 we were first made aware that Mr Sutcliffe had been transferred to the University Hospital of North Durham and from that point, prison officers made a record of his movements.
‘It was reported to us that he had been seriously ill and over a period of weeks spent a lot of time in medical care before being transferred to the hospital.
Sutcliffe pictured leaving the Isle of Wight Crown Court in Newport after giving evidence against James Costello who was accused of attacking him in prison in 1983
‘Mr Sutcliffe had a pacemaker fitted, was almost blind and used a wheelchair.
‘We first became aware of his death after a call from prison on November 13. When somebody dies, an investigation will occur as a matter of course.
‘The deceased Peter Sutcliffe used his mother’s maiden name after he was given life imprisonment.
‘As a result, he is also known as Coonan and is known by the Yorkshire Ripper by the media.’
The officer confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.
She continued: ‘There was nothing untoward, there were no documents indicating any violence, there were no injuries on his body.
‘There was no third party involvement or any suspicious circumstances.’ Crispin Oliver adjourned the inquest until February 1, 2021.
Coroner makes touching tribute to the victims of Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe following his death
A coroner made a touching tribute to the victims of the Yorkshire Ripper’s and their families during an inquest into his death passing on his ‘solidarity and support’.
During a hearing at Crook Civic Centre, assistant senior coroner for County Durham and Darlington Crispin Oliver paid tribute to Peter Sutcliffe’s 13 murder victims.
He also noted nine other women who are known to have been attacked by the serial killer and another woman whose identity was never officially established.
Wilma McCann (left), the first victim of the Yorkshire Ripper, who was murdered in Chapeltown, Leeds in October 1975, and Yvonne Pearson (right), who was murdered in Yorkshire in March 1978
Emily Jackson (left), who was murdered in Leeds in January 1976, and Maureen Long (right), who survived a murder attempt in July 1977
Marguerita Walls (left), who was murdered by the Yorkshire Ripper in Leeds in August 1980 and Helen Rytka (right), who was murdered in Huddersfield in January 1978
Before he began proceedings at an inquest into Sutcliffe’s death, Mr Oliver read out the 21 names of Sutcliffe’s victims as a mark of respect to their friends and family.
He said: ‘Before I go any further, at this stage it’s my usual practice to express a sense of solidarity and support for the family of the deceased and of course I do that but in this case, it is appropriate that my solidarity and support is expressed to the family and friends of the following women.’
He then went on to name all of his victims including; Wilma McCann, Emily Jackson, Irene Richardson, Tina Atkinson, Jayne MacDonald, Jean Jordan, Yvonne Pearson, Helen Rytka, Vera Millward, Josephine Whitaker, Barbara Leach, Marguerite Walls and Jacqueline Hill.
Vera Millward (left), who was murdered in Manchester in May 1978, and Jayne MacDonald (right), who was killed in Leeds in June 1977
Josephine Whitaker (left), who was murdered in Halifax in April 1979, and Jean Jordan (right), who was killed in Manchester in October 1977
Barbara Leach (left), who was murdered in Bradford in September 1979, and Patricia Atkinson (right), who was also killed in Bradford in April 1977
Marcella Claxton (left), who was attacked by the Yorkshire Ripper, and Jacqueline Hill (right), the Yorkshire Ripper’s last victim, who was murdered in Leeds in 1980
The coroner also paid tribute to the known women Sutcliffe attacked including; Anna Rogulskyj, Olive Smelt, Tracy Browne, Marcella Claxton, Marilyn Moore, Upadhya Bandara, Mo Lea, Theresa Sykes.
He further paid tribute to ‘at least one other woman whose identity was never officially established’ and said the inquest must be ‘significant’ for those affected.
One of his victims, Marcella Claxton was just 20 when she lost her unborn child in the appalling attack.
She told the Mirror how his death has given her ‘closure’ nearly four decades on.
She said: ‘I’m happy he’s gone. I’ve thought about what he did to me every day since and although the news that’s he’s died brings those horrible memories back at least now I may be able to get some closure.
‘I’m hoping it will bring me a little peace knowing he’s no longer with us.
‘I have to live with my injuries, 54 stitches in my head, back and front, plus I lost a baby, I was four months pregnant. I still get headaches, dizzy spells and blackouts.’