Leeds & West Yorkshire

Halifax woman who survived Yorkshire Ripper attack dies

Olive Smelt
Image caption Mrs Smelt needed brain surgery after the attack in 1975

A West Yorkshire woman who survived an attack by Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe has died at the age of 82.

Olive Smelt was subjected to a savage attack by the former Bradford lorry driver as she returned to her home in Halifax after a night out in 1975.

Mrs Smelt was hit twice on the head with a hammer and needed brain surgery, but she went on to make a full recovery.

She died in hospital on Wednesday after a short illness.

'Out to kill'

Speaking in 2005 when she recalled the attack, Mrs Smelt said: "The first thing CID said to me when they came to talk to me was 'you are the lucky one', which I guess I was. He didn't kill me did he?

"But he would have done if somebody hadn't come along with headlights on.

"He's admitted that as well. He was out to kill us all."

Sutcliffe received 20 life sentences in 1981 for murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven others.

A High Court judge ruled in January that Sutcliffe would never be released from prison.

The judgement was made following an application by the 64-year-old to have a minimum term set to give him the chance of parole.

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