Why has Peter Sutcliffe been in Broadmoor for so long?
来源：未知 作者：欧阳芷桧 时间：2018-02-26 08:01:11
By Helen Thomson Serial killer Peter Sutcliffe should be transferred from hospital to jail, according to the UK’s national offender management service. The Ministry of Justice agency told MPs they have advice from doctors that Sutcliffe may be moved to a specialist prison unit. But why has it taken 31 years and millions of pounds to come to this decision? Known as the “Yorkshire Ripper”, Sutcliffe was sentenced to multiple life terms in 1981 for the murder of 13 women and attempted murder of seven others. Three years later, Sutcliffe was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and sent to Broadmoor High Security Psychiatric Hospital, near Bracknell, UK. Most patients in Broadmoor are treated and moved to a lower-security hospital or prison within five years of being admitted. Patients with paranoid schizophrenia receive antipsychotic medication and psychotherapy, and would usually experience full or partial remission within six months to a year, says Tony Maden, former head of the Dangerous Severe Personality Disorder unit at Broadmoor. He says it is very unusual to have someone stay at Broadmoor for as long as Sutcliffe. But forensic psychiatrist Mrigendra Das, of the West London Mental Health Trust, says that about a third of people with schizophrenia don’t respond to treatment, will be prone to relapses and may need longer-term care. He says that people with paranoid schizophrenia generally respond to medication better than people with other subtypes of schizophrenia. Maden questions why so many resources have been spent on 69-year-old Sutcliffe. He says it costs more than £300,000 a year to treat a person at Broadmoor, therefore doctors have to demonstrate some benefit to justify keeping someone in the hospital. “My concern is that what’s led to Sutcliffe being kept there for so long is notoriety,” says Maden. “One suspects that either he recovered long ago and wasn’t moved, or he has not responded to treatment and has just got older. Either way it’s difficult to look back at this as a good use of resources for a cash strapped NHS.” At the time of his trial, Sutcliffe pleaded not guilty to murder on grounds of diminished responsibility due to paranoid schizophrenia. His defence was rejected by a jury, which is why he initially went to prison. “There was some debate at the time that his diagnosis was incorrect,” says Maden. “I’ve never had any direct contact with Sutcliffe, but the debate was around whether he had a personality disorder, schizophrenia, or whether he was just putting it on.” It’s not easy to move a person from a high-security hospital to a specialist prison. UK law says that compulsory treatment can only be imposed in a hospital, so a convict would have to agree to continue to take medication to control their symptoms in prison. This would apply to patients that had recovered from schizophrenia as well as those who hadn’t, since it is likely both would have to take medication long-term to control their symptoms. “To move a person you have to make sure that their illness is controlled so that they are not a danger to themselves or anyone else. They would have to agree to take this medication while in prison, and you would have to make sure the prison could provide a sufficient level of care,” says Das. People can “grow out” of schizophrenia, so to speak. “When patients don’t respond to treatment, we tend to see their symptoms burn out from about the age of 60 onwards,” says Das, who emphasises that he isn’t commenting on any specific case. “They mellow, but are left with personality deficits and need a lot of support.” It is a myth that schizophrenia and violence are linked. Das says that there are around 600 murders every year in the UK, but only 10 per cent of these are committed by people with schizophrenia. That’s about 60 people out of 600,000 diagnosed with schizophrenia who commit this level of violence, he says. “It’s incredibly rare.” The final decision over any move for Sutcliffe will be made by the justice minister, Michael Gove. Image credit: John Rogers/CameraPress More on these topics: