Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, will have his plea not to have to spend the rest of his life behind bars considered by the courts this summer. Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, will have his plea not to have to spend the rest of his life behind bars considered by the courts this summer.
The serial killer's application to have a tariff set which could lead to parole is due to be heard at the High Court in London on July 16, it has been revealed.
Now known as Peter Coonan, the 63-year-old former lorry driver from Bradford was convicted at the Old Bailey in London in 1981.
He received 20 life terms for the murder of 13 women and the attempted murder of seven others in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
A judge recommended that he serve a minimum of 30 years behind bars.
His name was not on a Home Office list, published in 2006, of 35 murderers serving "whole life" sentences and he was given no formal minimum sentence.
He is currently being held in Broadmoor top security psychiatric hospital after being transferred from prison in 1984 suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.
Dr Kevin Murray, the psychiatrist who has been in charge of Sutcliffe's care since 2001, said in a 2006 report that he now posed a "low risk of reoffending".
It was on July 5, 1975, just 11 months after his marriage, that he took a hammer and made his first attack on a woman.
Sutcliffe believed he was on a "mission from God" to kill prostitutes - although not all of his victims were sex workers - and was dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper because he mutilated their bodies using a hammer, a sharpened screw driver and a knife.
He has spent nearly all of his years in custody at Broadmoor after being diagnosed as mentally ill, but refused treatment until 1993 when the Mental Health Commission ruled it should be given forcibly.
In setting his tariff, the High Court is expected to take account of the gravity of his crimes, whether or not he has made "exceptional" progress in custody, the state of his mental health and any representations from him, his victims or their families.
Whatever the outcome of the tariff hearing, he will only be freed if the authorities consider he no longer poses a serious danger to the public.
The court will have power to set a definite number of years which Sutcliffe must serve before being eligible for parole, or rule that he must spend the rest of his life locked up.
A judge recently refused to allow fresh psychiatric evidence to be admitted as part of the tariff-setting exercise, although he said it could be considered in relation to his conduct post-sentence.
I think sorry might be a bit light when one considers his crimes - several murders and rape
I honestly think he should stay behind bars - its incredable that he is being given any consideration for release - I guess in the USA he would be strung up
I hear what you are saying - we have plenty of criminals at this end also
Trouble is that you can't really tell if he has 'made progress' until he is let out, and then you are playing Russian roulette with women's lives.
Also, those women he killed haven't had a chance to get their lives back, so why should he? There are some things that saying sorry for just isn't enough.
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