THE Yorkshire Ripper was handcuffed to a hospital bed after being rushed to casualty with a suspected heart attack.

Peter Sutcliffe, 74, also feared he was stricken with Covid-19 as he spent days struggling for breath.

His condition deteriorated on Wednesday and he was taken to A&E after developing crushing chest pains.

The serial killer had tests while handcuffed to a bed and is being monitored on a cardiology ward.

He was under guard in a private room away from other patients.

A source said: “His heart rate is really high and oxygen is really low. He’s had symptoms of a heart attack.

“He’s got three officers with him in hospital and is cuffed by both hands and is also cuffed to the bed.

“He was complaining of chest pains and went to the healthcare in the prison and was sent straight to A&E.

“He’s on a cardiac ward and is under observation. They are monitoring to try and work out exactly what’s happened.

“He’s talking and trying to make conversation with the nurses. He’s being treated in his own room — they won’t treat him on a ward.” Sutcliffe, serving life for the murder of 13 women, raised the alarm at HMP Frankland, Co Durham, on Wednesday when he developed chest pains.

Guards took him to the prison’s hospital wing before he was transferred to nearby University Hospital of North Durham.

He was admitted to the cardiology unit at 8.25pm.

Sutcliffe struggled for sleep in the past week due to his breathlessness.

Last week he said: “Difficulty getting my breath, could barely sleep.

“I hope I can breathe and get some sleep when I hit the sack tonight or I’ll have to report myself sick tomorrow.”

Ailing Sutcliffe has been battling poor health for months, at one point bleating: “I really hope to live . . . it’s precious, life.” He is terrified of coronavirus and reckons he has had the disease after suffering long-term, cold-like symptoms.

Sutcliffe has snubbed visits since they were restarted after lockdown for fear of contracting the virus and said: “I’m not risking it, it’ll kill you. It’s getting worse, it’s really increasing. You can’t be too careful, don’t take any risks at all.”

He has had a number of tests in recent months and said: “They are only letting you know if it’s positive.

“But what if it gets lost in the post and you think that you’re OK and you’re not?”

In recent years, he has suffered diabetes and an angina attack. He is also almost completely blind and needs help to get around the prison.

Sutcliffe said: “My eyesight is getting worse — I’m bumping into people. I’ve been completely blind in one eye for 20 years and the other one is deteriorating at a fair old rate. For the past couple of months, I felt as if I might have Covid as I felt hot and couldn’t get my breath as though my nostrils were blocked. The trouble is that they don’t let you know if you’re negative — they only reveal if your test was positive, so that’s not a lot of help.”

Despite his poor health, Sutcliffe had been in good spirits recently and wants actor Tom Hardy, 43, to play him in a planned ITV six-part drama. He told pals: “I like him — he does a brilliant job.”

But his hospital dash will have left him angry as he hates being handcuffed.

After a previous visit, he said: “It’s absolutely stupid. Where was I going to go in a hospital gown? And how could I get out of the hospital? It was like a maze, a massive place. I wouldn’t even attempt it anyway.

“I’ve no intention of doing a runner . . . just this stupid category A rules they’ve got.”

Sutcliffe was jailed in 1981 for 13 murders and seven attempted murders.

Three years later, he was moved to Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

After 32 years, psychiatrists ruled he was stable enough to be moved back to jail and in 2016 he was transferred to Frankland.

The Ministry of Justice said: “We don’t comment on individual prisoners.”

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