Doctors told serial killer Peter Sutcliffe that he was nearing the end of his life the day before he died with Covid, an interrogation heard.
The Yorkshire Ripper was informed by doctors that he was being taken to palliative care a few hours before he breathed his last at 1.45 a.m. on 13 November last year.
Sutcliffe, who used his mother’s surname Cunanan, was being treated at the University Hospital in North Durham, where he was an inmate, at the maximum security Frankland Prison.
He was serving a life sentence for the murder of 13 women.
During the hearing of the reopened investigation in Crook, County Durham, Coroner Crispin Oliver read the statement of Dr Clive Bloxham, who conducted a post-mortem examination on Sutcliffe’s body, mirror report,
Dr Bloxham said Sutcliffe, who was taken to University Hospital in North Durham with “increased breathing and increased oxygen requirements”, tested positive for the coronavirus on 5 November last year.
He said that Kovid-19 has been confirmed in chest X-ray and blood samples.
Dr. Bloxham said Sutcliffe had a pacemaker implanted on November 2 for “episodic complete heart block” and that the procedure was “unexpected” but continued to deteriorate afterwards.
Peter Sutcliffe, who changed his name to Cunanan, was told he was being transferred to palliative care, hours before his death at 1.45 a.m. on November 13 last year.
“After a thorough discussion with the patient, he was transferred to palliative care,” Dr. Bloxham said.
“He died on November 13 at 1.45 a.m. from serious heart disease, with damage to the main arteries and cirrhosis of the liver.”
Dr Bloxham continued: “The main finding was very heavy, solid, airless lungs very typical of Sars Covid 2 and ARDS, Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and consistent with the chest X-ray documented above.
“His diabetes and heart disease, well-known risk factors for COVID-19, were also contributing factors to his death from natural causes.
“It is set up for further investigation.”
Coroner’s Officer Don Carter said they were awaiting a death report by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.
The hearing was told that the 74-year-old’s family members, his ex-wife Sonia Woodward, had been informed of the resumed interrogation, but had opted not to appear in person.
The investigation was adjourned until 7 May, with the possibility of a full hearing at ‘Pitman’s Parliament’ at Mason Hall in Redhills, Durham on 18 June.
Mr Oliver spoke of paying tribute to Sutcliffe’s victims and their families when the investigation began last year.
“It is my common practice as a coroner to express a sense of solidarity and support for the family of the deceased and certainly I do,” he said.
“However, in this case, it is appropriate that my solidarity and support also go to the families and friends of the following women: Wilma McCann, Emily Jackson, Irene Richardson, Tina Atkinson, Jayne MacDonald, Jean Jordan, Yvonne Pearson, Helen Ritka, Vera Millward, Josephine Whitaker, Barbara Leach, Marguerite Walls and Jacqueline Hill.”
Mr Oliver also named those who were attacked by Sutcliffe, saying: “Anna Rogulskies, Olive Smelt, Tracy Brown, Marcella Claxton, Marilyn Moore, Upadhyay Bandara, Mo Lee, Theresa Sykes and at least one other woman whose identity was never officially established.”
Mr Oliver said the investigation should be “important” for those affected.
Sutcliffe was buried last year in a private service, details of which were never made public.
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