Yorkshire Ripper fell from bed trying to change TV channel before dying of Covid

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The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe fell out of his bed trying to change the channel on his TV in one of his last prison acts before dying from Covid, an inquest heard.

The serial killer, who was serving a life sentence for killing 13 women in the 1970s, died aged 74 on November 13 last year.

Coroner Crispin Oliver, sitting in Crook, Durham, was told that Sutcliffe, who changed his named to Coonan, died at University Hospital of North Durham at 1.45am.

The evil killer, who was serving a life sentence at maximum security Frankland prison, had been in poor health.

One of his last acts in prison was to fall from his bed while trying to change the channel on his television.

He did not suffer any injury in the fall which happened before he was admitted to hospital for the final time.

The inquest heard Sutcliffe suffered from diabetes and heart disease, with both conditions risk factors for Covid-19.

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Sutcliffe terrorised northern England during the 1970s during a five-year reign of terror between 1975 and 1980.

He was first taken to hospital on October 27, just over two weeks before he died, after complaining of feeling dizzy and being diagnosed at the prison's healthcare unit with a blocked heart.

He returned to Frankland on November 4 and it was after this first hospital stay that he tested positive for Covid 19.

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Prison nurse Angela Spence said Sutcliffe was treated with antibiotics for a cough and his health deteriorated and he had a rapid heart rate.

The prison's governor Lee Drummond said Sutcliffe went in and out of hospital on both November 8 and November 9, before being admitted for the final time the next day.

Mr Drummond said vulnerable prisoners had been warned of the dangers of coronavirus after the country first lockdown down in March 2020.

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They were offered measures similar to shielding in the community. These included being kept apart from other inmates at meal times and to use the phone, but Sutcliffe turned down the offer.

Sutcliffe was transferred to Frankland in 2016 and spending 32 years in the infamous psychiatric hospital Broadmoor.

Mr Drummond said: "For such a high-profile prisoner he was very unassuming and went about his daily business."

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Detective Constable Alistair Rogowski investigated Sutcliffe's death as a routine procedure when a prisoner dies behind bars.

There was no evidence to suggest he died of anything other than natural causes.

Pathologist Dr Clive Bloxham said Sutcliffe's had "extremely heavy lungs" consistent with someone who had Covid.

Mr Oliver will give his conclusion later on Wednesday.

  • Inquests
  • Serial Killers
  • Peter Sutcliffe

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