INFAMOUS hoaxer Wearside Jack is set to be released from prison within weeks.
Unemployed labourer John Humble, the man who derailed the hunt for Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, could be free as early as mid-October.
But the former Huddersfield detective who put him behind bars said Humble would never be able to forget he was partly to blame for three women being murdered.
Former detective Chris Gregg said Humble had paid for his crimes but would have to live with the burden of the murders for the rest of his life.
Preparations are now under way into how Humble, of Flodden Road, Ford Estate, Sunderland, will be managed and protected once he is back in the community.
Should his release be given the go-ahead, Humble will have spent only half his eight-year sentence behind bars.
The 54-year-old pleaded guilty to four counts of perverting the course of justice at Leeds Crown Court in March 2006 having been arrested at his home the previous October.
His infamous hoax letters and tape saw police, who in 1979 were leading the hunt for the real Ripper, decamp their investigation from Yorkshire to Sunderland.
Former Grange Moor detective George Oldfield and others were convinced the voice of the tape came from the Castletown area of the city and, while they focused their inquiries there, Peter Sutcliffe went on to kill three more women.
Northumbria Probation Service would not comment directly on Humble’s case.
Dave Gardiner, area director of operations for the service, said: “When an offender is due to be released from prison on licence, preparations begin several months prior to the release date.
“The probation service works closely with the prison service to examine the rehabilitation work the offender has completed whilst in prison and how this can be continued in the community.”
He added: “If an offender has a high profile, then this has to be factored into the risk assessment and risk management plan, and the profile itself as well as the individual and their offending behaviour has to be managed in order to protect the public.
“This may involve preventing the offender from returning to their former home and additional monitoring.
Sutcliffe killed 13 women in his reign of terror, including Huddersfield teenager Helen Rytka, and tried to kill seven others, including Theresa Sykes, of Oakes.
Mr Gregg said: “It’s impossible to quantify the impact the Yorkshire Ripper had on people.
“John Humble chose to involve himself in the investigation by what was the most calculating and ultimately the most notorious hoax imaginable.
“Whilst he has finally paid for his crimes 25 years later, with an eight-year sentence, the fact that his actions contributed to the deaths of three women should never be forgotten.
“He has to live with that for the rest of his life.”