Yorkshire Ripper victim who survived horrific hammer attack says death gives her closure

Marcella Claxton who survived an attack by the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe (Image: Daily Mirror)

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A survivor of the Yorkshire Ripper says his death has given her "closure" nearly four decades on.

Marcella Claxton was left needing more than 50 stitches after being over the head with a hammer by killer Peter Sutcliffe in May 1976.

The serial killer, who murdered at least 13 women in the 70s and 80s, died at HMP Frankland, Co Durham, yesterday.

Ms Claxton was just 20 when she lost her unborn child in the appalling attack – and continues to feel its effects to his day.

She said: “I’m happy he’s gone. I’ve thought about what he did to me every day since and although the news that’s he’s died brings those horrible memories back at least now I may be able to get some closure.

“I’m hoping it will bring me a little peace knowing he’s no longer with us.

Marcella says she was happy at hearing of the death of Peter Sutcliffe
(Image: Daily Mirror)

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“I have to live with my injuries, 54 stitches in my head, back and front, plus I lost a baby, I was four months pregnant. I still get headaches, dizzy spells and black outs.”

Marcella, now 64, was targeted by Sutcliffe after being mistaken for a prostitute when she left a house party in Leeds.

She managed to crawl to a phone box after Sutcliffe attacked her in Roundhay Park where she hid and phoned for help.

The serial killer, who murdered at least 13 women in the 70s and 80s, died at HMP Frankland, Co Durham
(Image: SWNS)

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She survived the attack and help police produce an accurate photofit – but she was discounted as a Ripper victim because she was not a prostitute.

She later went on to have three children, two boys aged 43 and 39, and a girl, 42, and now works as a cleaner in a local secondary school.

Sutcliffe, one of Britain's worst ever serial killers, died aged 74 after reportedly refusing treatment for coronavirus.

Marcella says she still thinks about the attack every day
(Image: Daily Mirror)

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His killing spree across Yorkshire and Manchester from 1975 to 1980 terrified northern England and launched a huge manhunt and a botched police inquiry.

Sutcliffe was serving a whole life term for the murders of 13 women, some of whom were sex workers, and the attempted murder of seven more.

He was an inmate of the maximum security Frankland jail and died on Friday morning at the nearby University Hospital of North Durham. 

It is said a frail Sutcliffe's lungs failed and he was pronounced dead in hospital with no visitors at his side.

He died without ever apologising to any of his victim's families.