The infamous "Yorkshire Ripper" has apparently been receiving free NHS eye care behind bars. It's just been discovered that Peter Sutcliffe, the now 70-year-old serial murderer, had at least one serious surgical operation within the past few days.
Sutcliffe received full NHS eye care inside prison for this procedure. Eye surgeons traveled into HM Prison Frankland to perform the surgery in person.
This is not the first time Sutcliffe has had eye problems. In 1997, it was widely reported that Sutcliffe injured his left eye in prison. This time, however, Sutcliffe was complaining about a large lump in his right eye.
In order to clear out the lump, surgeons injected a strong steroid directly into Sutcliffe's right eye. Sutcliffe no longer experiences any discomfort related to this lump in his eye.
Although the lump is now gone, Sutcliffe still has many vision woes. Doctors say Sutcliffe may need cataract surgery in the near future. They believe Sutcliffe has developed cataracts due to his diabetes.
Sutcliffe was caught on camera walking around the prison without any handcuffs and in casual clothing. Reports show he received two eye treatments on December 15th, one mid-day and one at nighttime.
Those close to Sutcliffe say he has a "chum" in jail that often reads to him. Sutcliffe apparently told this friend that he was really looking forward to having this eye surgery done.
Sutcliffe reportedly said he was apprehensive about having the doctors inject steroids directly into his eye, but he knew it needed to be done to stop the lump from growing. Not only was this lump obstructing his vision, Sutcliffe also said he could feel the lump pressing against the back of his right eye.
Before the surgery, Sutcliffe said he could only see blurry images on the TV and in letters. He could not make out people's faces at all, and he complained about not being able to write letters to friends and family.
Sutcliffe has since moved back into jail where he is being treated for paranoid schizophrenia. The prison staff said that Sutcliffe is considered an "enhanced" inmate, which basically means he gets preferential treatment.
Those affected by Sutcliffe's violent rampages are horrified at the "VIP" status he is receiving in jail. Neil Jackson, whose mother was killed by Sutcliffe, told reporters he thinks Sutcliffe shouldn't have been treated like a celebrity. For all the evil Sutcliffe has done in the past, Jackson feels losing his eyesight is a just punishment.
Jackson also told reporters that if Sutcliffe really wanted this surgery, then he should have paid for it himself. This eye care shouldn't be on the British taxpayers' dime, Jackson said.
When asked for a comment about the "enhanced" treatment Sutcliffe was receiving, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said he wasn't at liberty to comment on the matter.
Peter William Sutcliffe, also known as Peter Coonan, was born in Bingley, West Riding of Yorkshire, in 1946. He was officially convicted of murdering thirteen women in 1981 and attempting to murder dozens more. Throughout the court proceedings, British tabloids dubbed Sutcliffe the "Yorkshire Ripper." He was sentenced to life imprisonment and is currently serving out his time in HM Prison Frankland in Brasside, County Durham, England.