Yorkshire Ripper could be moved out of psychiatric hospital into mainstream jail

Tribunal rules Peter Sutcliffe is sane enough to return to prison

yorkshire ripper

Peter William Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper | Photo: S&G Barratts/EMPICS Archive

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe may be moved out of a UK psychiatric hospital and back into jail.

It comes after a mental health tribunal ruled the 70-year-old was sane enough to return to prison.

He has spent 32 years in the high-security Broadmoor institution in Berkshire after murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven more between 1976 and 1981.

Most of his victims were prostitutes who were mutilated and beaten to death.

Sutcliffe has been in Broadmoor since being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1984.

The former lorry driver from Bradford now calls himself Peter Coonan.

He was given 20 life terms for the murders after being caught when police found him with a prostitute in his car.

They became suspicious and found he had a fake licence plate and weapons including a screwdriver and hammer in the boot.

Peter Sutcliffe is escorted from Dewsbury Magistrates' Court in January 1981 | Photo: PA Images

Before he was moved to Broadmoor, he spent three years at Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight.

The tribunal's decision has been referred to the UK's Ministry of Justice, which will need to confirm the move.

A Ministry spokesman said: "Peter Coonan will remain locked up and will never be released for his evil crimes.

"Decisions over whether prisoners are to be sent back to prison from secure hospitals are based on clinical assessments made by independent medical staff.

"The High Court ordered in 2010 that Peter Coonan should never be released. This was upheld by the Court of Appeal."

The spokesman added: "Our thoughts are with Coonan's victims and their families."