Yorkshire Ripper must stay in jail for life

Recalling Sitcliffe's 13 murders and seven attempted murders, Justice Mitting said: "This was a campaign of murder which terrorised the population of a large part of Yorkshire for several years."

He added: "Apart from a terrorist outrage, it is difficult to conceive of circumstances in which one man could account for so many victims. Those circumstances alone make it appropriate to set a whole life term."

Sutcliffe, 63, had applied to the court to have a minimum term set to give him the chance of parole.

He had received 20 life sentences in 1981 for murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven others.

The serial killer detained at the Broadmoor high- security psychiatric hospital in Berkshire.

Sutcliffe used a hammer to attack his first victim on 5 July 1975.

He believed he was on a "mission from God" to kill prostitutes, although not all of his victims were sex workers.

He was dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper because he mutilated his victims' bodies using a hammer, a sharpened screwdriver and a knife.

He has spent nearly all his years in custody at Broadmoor after being diagnosed as mentally ill, but refused treatment until 1993 when the Mental Health Commission ruled it should be given forcibly.

In making his ruling, Justice Mitting said he had read statements by relatives of six murdered victims.

Richard McCann, whose mother Wilma was murdered by Sutcliffe, described the ruling as a "small victory for my mum".

He added: "We have been fearing this moment for many years - the fear that he might get released.

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