Woman who escaped killers grasp emotionless after hearing he has died – Liverpool Echo

Loading ....

A Liverpool woman who survived a savage hammer attack by the Yorkshire Ripper today said she felt emotionless after his death.

Peter Sutcliffe died last Friday, aged 74, as the serial killer served a whole life term for murdering 13 women across Yorkshire and north-west England.

Mo Lea, from Walton, who was set upon by the former lorry driver while she was a student in Leeds in 1980 told the ECHO: “I didn’t burst into tears when I heard.

“I thought, ‘Friday 13th, unlucky for some, but not for me.'”

Sutcliffe, from Bradford, died in hospital where he is said to have refused treatment for Covid-19.

He also had other health problems.

The mass killer was also found guilty of the attempted murder of seven women, and was convicted in 1981.

He spent three decades at Broadmoor Hospital before being moved to HMP Frankland in County Durham in 2016.

Ms Lea was targeted by Sutcliffe as she walked home from a pub in Leeds where she had met friends to plan her 21st birthday.

Peter Sutcliffe
Peter Sutcliffe
(Image: Handout)

The former Rice Lane Primary School pupil said goodbye to her friends, on October 25, 1980, and decided to walk through the university campus to catch the bus.

But she was tracked by Sutcliffe who was following her, calling out ‘Hey, how are you?’ in a pretence that he knew her.

Then he sprinted after her, using a hammer to hit her over the head and then a sharpened screwdriver to try and sever her spinal cord.

This January 5, 1981 photo shows Peter Sutcliffe, aged 35, under a blanket at right, being led from Dewsbury Magistrates Court in Dewsbury by police officers. On Friday, November 13, 2020, Britain’s Prison Service said that serial killer, known as the “Yorkshire Ripper”, died in hospital.
(Image: AP)

Mo only escaped because a couple spotted what was happening, raised the alarm and Sutcliffe decided to run away.

She woke up in hospital with terrible injuries – a fractured skull, fractured cheekbone, a broken jaw, a puncture wound to the back of her skull and many cuts and bruises.

Mo today told the ECHO: “His death didn’t come to me as a shock, as I’d heard he was ill.

“I was shocked more as it would bring up horrific feeling for the families of the woman he killed and attacked, even though it’s 40 years ago.

“I’m fine and my family are fine, but we all put on a mask.”

Sutcliffe has never admitted his brutal assault on Mo, who left Merseyside aged 18, and whose parents still live in Crosby.

Mo Lea, tearing up a drawing of the Yorkshire Ripper
(Image: Mo Lea)
Mo Lea, tearing up a drawing of the Yorkshire Ripper
(Image: Mo Lea)

The successful artist said: “Some people, who he attacked but he never admitted, feel cheated as he has taken those secrets to the grave.

“He chose to keep some sense of control by keeping that to himself, but I’ve come to terms with my situation.

“I’ve drawn pictures of him and then ripped them up, he’s now no longer part of my narrative.”

Join our Liverpool and Merseyside local news page on Facebook

To try and deal with the anguish, Mo went back to arts school and secured a 2:1 degree in Fine Art, often drawing images which she describes as “morbid and macabre”.

Life was a struggle, and it wasn’t until she came across schema reconditioning therapy that big improvements were made

With the help of therapists Nik and Eva Speakman, using a five-step programme, Mo was able to heal.

Mo Lea’s book on the Ripper
(Image: Pen and Sword)

The success was put to the test on live TV, on This Morning, when a picture of the Yorkshire Ripper was held up in front of her.

Normally, Mo would have broke down sobbing, and the image would have sparked strong panic attacks and waves of anxiety.

But almost miraculously, she was able to stare at Sutcliffe’s photo, seemingly unphased.

Keep up to date with localnews) in your area by adding your postcode below:

The former Liverpool Girl’s College pupil first learnt of his death when she turned on the internet and then her phone started “pinging.”

But she shed no tears, she said.

Mo added: “I’ve framed what happened to me in the past tense, and coming from a position of strength and maturity.

Peter Sutcliffe the Yorkshire ripper handcuffed leaving court
Peter Sutcliffe the Yorkshire ripper handcuffed leaving court

“How, as a society, did we let this person develop this hatred of women and life, how did we fuel that, and the sexism and class structure that fuelled that?

“But now, I’m in a good place.”

Sutcliffe’s murder spree led to him killing 11 women in West Yorkshire and a further two in Manchester between October 1975 and January 1981.

The murders started out in Leeds, targeting sex workers, but began to spiral across the whole of the North of England.

As well as the 13 women murdered, there were seven others who managed to escape the killer.

Follow Luke on Twitter here

You can read more of his stories here

Email him at luke.traynor@reachplc.com or call 0151 330 5051 if you want to share any news, stories or updates.

Keep up to date with the latest breaking Liverpool news here

Like the ECHO News Facebook page here and follow @LivEchoNews on Twitter

Forty years after such a traumatic experience, Mo has written about what happened to her in a book, entitled ‘Facing The Yorkshire Ripper – The Art of Survival.’

The book, published by Pen and Sword, is available on Amazon.

 

Loading ....