Sir Lawrence Byford: Yorkshire Ripper report author dies

  • 12 February 2018

Lawrence ByfordImage copyright BYFORD FAMILY
Image caption Sir Lawrence Byford joined the police in 1947, eventually rising to the rank of Chief Inspector of Constabulary

A former police chief who wrote a leading report into the failings of the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper has died.

Sir Lawrence Byford conducted an inquiry into the case and found detectives made “major errors of judgement” during the five years it took to apprehend Peter Sutcliffe.

The report led to changes to investigative procedures which were adopted across UK police forces.

The 92-year-old died at home in Pannal, North Yorkshire, on Saturday.

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The 1982 Byford Report, which was only made public in 2006, found there was an “unexplained lull” in the Ripper’s activities between 1969 and 1975 and he could have been responsible for a further 13 offences.

Sutcliffe was given 20 life terms in 1981 for murdering 13 women and attempting to kill seven more.

‘Opening boundaries’

Born in Normanton, West Yorkshire, Sir Lawrence left school without any qualifications and became an apprentice electrician at a local pit.

After being drafted during World War Two, serving with the Royal Signals’ Special Communications Unit, he joined West Riding Constabulary in 1947 and advanced up the ranks to Chief Inspector of Constabulary.

In retirement, Sir Lawrence became president and chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club and helped to end a policy where the club only selected cricketers born within the county.

A statement from the cricket club said this “opening up of the boundaries” led to Indian superstar Sachin Tendulkar becoming Yorkshire’s first overseas player in 1992.

The married father-of-three has eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

BBC News – England

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