Coroner requests medical notes for the last six weeks of the Yorkshire Ripper’s life during inquest

The Assistant Senior Coroner for County Durham has requested Peter Sutcliffe’s medical notes for the last six weeks of his life ahead of the full inquest.

The 74-year-old prisoner, dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper, had been suffering from increasing breathlessness and needed additional levels of oxygen in the days before his death in hospital from Covid-19 on November 13.

He was serving a life sentence at Frankland Prison in Durham, and had been transferred to the University Hospital of North Durham on November 10.

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Sutcliffe murdered 13 women and attacked several others, terrifying northern England in the late 1970s until he was caught in 1980.

Peter Sutcliffe, who changed his surname to Coonan, was a prisoner in HMP Frankland in Durham and died in the city's hospital in November.

The serial killer tested positive for coronavirus on November 5, and had previously suffered from diabetes and heart disease, known risk factors for Covid-19.

Assistant Senior Coroner for County Durham Crispin Oliver held a hearing at Crook Civic Centre on Tuesday, June 22, ahead of the final inquest.

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He is also still waiting for a report from the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman which looks into the death of any serving prisoner.

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He said: “On the face of it, it is a natural death, but I think I shall require the medical records from October 1 to November 13, when he died.”

Sutcliffe received palliative care before he died and a post-mortem examination confirmed severe heart disease, including stenosis of three coronary arteries, with the cause of death being Covid-19.

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Another pre-inquest review will be held on July 7 before the full, final hearing takes place on September 22.

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