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No comment from Thornford Park on claims Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe could move in

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Residents nearby voice concerns following escape of medium-risk patient from Thornford Park hospital last year

Psychiatric hospital Thornford Park has made national headlines this week following reports that notorious killer the Yorkshire Ripper wants to be moved there.

Peter Sutcliffe, a paranoid schizophrenic convicted of killing 13 women between 1975 and 1980 in Yorkshire and Manchester, has applied to move from Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital in Bracknell Forest to the Crookham Common-based Thornford Park, run by the Priory Group.

The news is of particular concern to residents living near to the site following the escape of medium-risk patient John Maguire in July, who used knotted bed sheets to scale the 5.2 metre fence.

Maguire was found one week later and returned to the unit and increased security measures have since been brought in.

It has been reported that a hearing of the Broadmoor Tribunal into Sutcliffe's move will be held next month.

However, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Newbury, Richard Benyon, said: "I have spoken to the chief executive of the Priory Group. He said they have done extensive research and there has been no request to them by the Ministry of Justice to house Peter Sutcliffe at Thornford Park or any of their facilities.

"That's not to say he hasn't requested to be housed in a lower category institution but there has been absolutely no request for him to go to Thornford Park and people should speculating on this.

"Somebody has added two and two together and made five and there is absolutely no truth in it."

A spokeswoman for The Priory Group, who did not give her name, declined to comment on the reports when approached by the Newbury Weekly News on Monday. A spokeswoman for Broadmoor said she was unable to comment on individual cases.

For the full story, pick up a copy of Thursday's Newbury Weekly News.

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