A FURNESS man whose mother was murdered by Peter Sutcliffe has opened up on the 'emotional day' he had following the death of the serial killer.

Geoff Beattie, 51, said the death of the Yorkshire Ripper had brought him a form of closure and hoped it would do the same for the families of the killer's 13 victims.

The Ulverston resident, who was adopted, did not realise his birth mother Irene Richardson had been a victim of Sutcliffe until he researched his family history 16 years ago.

The 28-year-old woman was murdered by Sutcliffe in Leeds in February 1977.

Describing his reaction to the killer's death, he said: "When I found out on Friday morning my first thought was it's good he's gone because there are a lot of people who might now get peace, comfort, closure.

"I realised I needed that too. I didn't think that emotional impact was still there.

"It was a very emotional day but it did help me deal with it."

The care assistant added: "He had that opportunity to meet her and because of that I never could.

"He has stolen from me and from everybody else."

Mrs Richardson, born Irene Osborne, worked as a cleaner for the YMCA and was struggling so much financially that she was living in toilets at the time of her death.

She grew up in Glasgow, before moving to Blackpool, London and then the Yorkshire city.

Mr Beattie said he believed his mother did the 'right thing' to put him into care.

Having tracked down other members of his family and people who knew his mother, he is still searching for his father and would like anyone with information to come forward.

Sutcliffe, a former lorry driver from Bradford, died in hospital where he is said to have refused treatment for Covid-19. He was serving a life sentence for murdering 13 woman across Yorkshire and north-west England.

He was also found guilty of the attempted murder of seven women.

"I find it hard to comprehend how someone can do what he did," Mr Beattie said.