UK

Ripper victim: 'He shouldn't be let out at all'

  • 16 July 2010
  • From the section UK

A High Court judge is to rule on whether the man known as the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, should ever be considered for release later. One of his victims says that should never be allowed to happen.

In November 1980 Theresa Toth was 16. Then Theresa Sykes, she was living with her boyfriend and their six-month-old baby in Huddersfield.

"Life was really good," she says. "We had just got a new house. My boyfriend was working, We were just a normal couple. "

On Bonfire Night she had just got the baby settled and told her boyfriend she was nipping out for some cigarettes.

It was 8pm and her journey took her past a row of houses.

She recalls: "I remember coming out of the shop, seeing a bloke in the telephone box but I didn't take too much notice.

"Then I started walking home, I noticed somebody was following me, I turned around, stared at him, he stared at me and I knew it was the same bloke and he walked off down one of the side streets.

"I carried on walking and then I noticed a shadow on the floor so I knew I was being followed. I didn't even turn around and the next thing I knew I was out of it."

She had been hit three times over the head with a hammer. Theresa had become the latest victim of the Yorkshire Ripper.

'Literally froze'

She was close to home. Her boyfriend heard her screams and ran out. Theresa's attacker ran off.

But before the attack she had looked into his face. She remembers: "He was very cold and I knew something was going to happen. I was saying to myself run and I couldn't. I literally froze. I'll never forget that face."

Less than a fortnight later the Ripper struck again. This time his victim did not survive.

Jacqueline Hill, a student in Leeds became the 13th woman to be murdered. She was his last victim.

In the first week of 1981, Sutcliffe was finally arrested.

Theresa was by then recovering from brain surgery.

She recalls: "At that time I were trying to learn how to walk again. I was on a Zimmer frame. My speech wasn't good. It was just a bad time."

She remembers when she saw Sutcliffe's face on the news, a face etched in her memory from the night of the attack, and uses graphic language to describe her feelings.

"I just thought, bastard, why? I'd lost so much time with my little boy. Over the years he's taken a lot away from me."

She believes Sutcliffe should be detained until he dies.

"It's never going to end with me so why it should end for him? He has absolutely spoilt my life. Why should he get out and have a life. I haven't really had one.

"So why should he be let out when he's a maniac? I don't think he should be let out at all."

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