THE notorious Yorkshire Ripper hoaxer known as Wearside Jack was sent to prison with a judge's stinging words in his ears.
John Humble, 50, from Sunderland, wrong-footed the entire police hunt with three letters and a tape he sent in the late 1970s.
Sentencing him at Leeds Crown Court to eight years in jail, Judge Norman Jones QC said: "You planned to manipulate the process of the investigation of one of the most horrific series of murders ever seen in this country.
"You warped and bent its path away from the true killer. You did that with an indifference to the potentially fatal consequences which was breathtaking.
"In the late 1970s the murders of the so-called Yorkshire Ripper drove fear into the hearts of all women living in Yorkshire and across the border into Lancashire.
"I'm satisfied that one of the factors that may well have contributed to him remaining at large for so long was your behaviour."
Humble, a jobless labourer, was sentenced after admitting four counts of perverting the course of justice at Leeds Crown Court.
He fooled senior detectives into believing the distinctive Sunderland accent on the tape was the voice of the real murderer.
When the real killer Peter Sutcliffe was caught, he told police that the hoax letters and tape had given him "confidence".