A DECISION to let Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe die behind bars was welcomed last night – by one of the men who put him there.
Retired Huddersfield detective John Stainthorpe was involved in the massive manhunt for many years throughout the 1970s.
And now he says: “The next time we should hear of Sutcliffe is when they are arranging his funeral”.
Sutcliffe has lost a challenge against an order that he can never be released.
A High Court judge ruled last year that the serial killer of 13 women must serve a “whole life” tariff.
Sutcliffe, who is now known as Peter Coonan, had his appeal against that order rejected yesterday by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith and Mr Justice Griffith Williams at the Court of Appeal.
The former lorry driver, from Bradford, was convicted at the Old Bailey in 1981.
Sutcliffe, now 64, received 20 life terms for the murder of 13 women and the attempted murder of others in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
One of his murder victims was teenage Huddersfield prostitute Helen Rytka and he also tried to kill innocent teenager Theresa Sykes at Oakes.
Mr Stainthorpe, who spent 40 years in the police, said: “It’s the right decision. I cannot see any judge or politician wanting to see Sutcliffe back on the streets.
“This is a man who committed 13 of the most terrible, atrocious murders you could see and attacked many others.
“This is a decision for the families of his victims and for those who survived his attacks. What could have happened if any one of them bumped into him on a street in years to come?
“His argument that he heard ‘Voices from God’ telling him to kill prostitutes is utter rubbish. He moved away from the red-light areas because he knew the police were keeping watch and targeted areas around hospitals and universities where he knew there would be innocent women.
“I hope now the whole Ripper issue is dropped and the next time we hear of him is when they are arranging his funeral”.
In court, Lord Judge said the “passage of time does not make the appellant’s account at trial of how he came to commit these offences any more likely to be credible now than it was then”.
He said: “We are not, of course, suggesting that the man who perpetrated these crimes was in any ordinary sense of the words ‘normal’ or ‘average’.
“The sheer abnormality of his actions themselves suggest some element of mental disorder”.
But he added: “There is, however, no reason to conclude that the appellant’s claim that he genuinely believed that he was acting under divine instruction to fulfil God’s will carries any greater conviction now than it did when it was rejected by the jury.”
The three judges ruled that the interests of justice required “nothing less” than a whole life order.
Lord Judge said: “Each of the attempted murders, as well as each of the murder offences, taken on its own was a dreadful crime of utmost brutality: taking all the offences together, we have been considering an accumulation of criminality of exceptional magnitude which went far beyond the legislative criteria for a whole-life order.
“Even accepting that an element of mental disturbance was intrinsic to the commission of these crimes, the interests of justice require nothing less than a whole-life order. That is the only available punishment proportionate to these crimes”.