The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe was held in chains as he lay dying in hospital after contracting Covid, a new report has revealed.

Prison Ombudsman Sue McAllister also said he was not allowed to directly contact his ex-wife Sonia.

Messages were passed between the two rather than let them speak by phone, r eports the Mirror.

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A report into his death issued by Sue McAllister, the prison ombudsman, criticised the use of chains on Sutcliffe as well as a delay by staff in removing them when told to.

The report said: “Although most of the prison’s liaison with Mr Coonan’s next of kin was of a good standard, we are disappointed that he could not talk directly with his next of kin when he was dying and that prison staff had to act as messengers for their personal messages.”

McAllister has now recommended that the prison governor should ensure staff allow dying prisoners direct contact with their next of kin or family member via mobile phone.

He was moved to hospital when he fell ill.

It was agree restraints would not be required due to his poor condition.

Yet the report said the the on-call manager of the Long-Term and High Security Estate Group rejected this.

McAllister wrote: “We are concerned that healthcare staff did not include crucial information about Mr Coonan’s medical condition in the escort risk assessment, which meant that the authorising managers in the Category A Team were unable to make informed decisions on whether it was justified to restrain him.

“We are also concerned that when hospital doctors were giving Mr Coonan end of life care, the decision to remove Mr Coonan’s restraints took too long and that escorting officers did not remove the restraints promptly after an authorising manager gave verbal permission to do so.”

An inquest heard, reports LeicesterLive, that doctors told the serial killer he was nearing the end of his life the day before he died with Covid.

The Yorkshire Ripper was informed by medics that he was being moved into palliative care hours before he died at 1.45am on November 13 last year.

The 74-year-old contracted Covid after deciding not to shield — despite having underlying health conditions.

Sutcliffe, who used his mother’s surname Coonan, was being treated at the University Hospital of North Durham, close to the maximum security Frankland Prison where he was an inmate.

He was serving a whole life term for murdering 13 women.

During a hearing of the resumed inquest in Crook, County Durham, coroner Crispin Oliver read out the statement of Dr Clive Bloxham, who carried out the post-mortem examination on Sutcliffe’s body, The Mirror reports.

Dr Bloxham said Sutcliffe had been taken to University Hospital of North Durham with “increasing breathlessness and increasing oxygen requirements” having tested positive for coronavirus on November 5 last year.

Chest X-rays and blood samples had confirmed Covid-19, he added.

Dr Bloxham said Sutcliffe had a pacemaker fitted on November 2 for an “episodic complete heart block,” and that this procedure was “uneventful” but he continued to deteriorate afterwards.

After full discussion with the patient, he was transferred to palliative care,” said Dr Bloxham.

“He died on November 13 at 1.45am from severe heart disease with damage to main arteries and cirrhosis of the liver.”

Dr Bloxham continued: “The main finding was very heavy, solid, airless lungs which are very typical of Sars Covid 2 and ARDS, Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and correspond to the chest X-ray documented above.

“His diabetes and heart disease, well-known risk factors for Covid-19, were also contributory conditions to his death from natural causes.

“That has been established for the investigation which goes forward.”




Coroner’s officer Dawn Carter said that they were awaiting a report by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman into the death.

The hearing was told the 74-year-old’s next-of-kin, his ex-wife Sonia Woodward, had been informed of the resumed inquest, but had chosen not to attend in person.

The inquest was adjourned until May 7, with a full hearing likely on June 18 at the ‘Pitman’s Parliament’ at Mason’s Hall in Redhills, Durham.

Mr Oliver made a point of paying tribute to Sutcliffe’s victims and their families at the opening of the inquest last year.

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