Yorkshire Ripper's wife Sonia Sutcliffe wins damages from Private Eye
On 24th May 1989 a jury at the High Court in London awarded £600,000 damages to Sonia Sutcliffe, then wife of the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe.
The amount of damages was a record amount, beating the previous record by £100,000. The award followed a claim by Private Eye that Mrs Sutcliffe had attempted to profit from her connection to her husband, and accepted £250,000 from the Daily Mail for an article detailing their life together.
Mrs Sutcliffe made no comment and left the court shrouded in a blanket.
Sonia Sutcliffe was granted an initial £25,000 pending an appeal by Private Eye.
Private Eye readers stood by the magazine and contributed to a fund.
Common sense prevailed, and the appeal was successful. The sum to be paid by the magazine was reduced to £60,000. Reports suggested that Private Eye scored a PR coup by donating the surplus of their fund to the families of Sutcliffe's victims.