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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 February, 2003, 19:00 GMT
Police re-examine ripper evidence
Peter Sutcliffe
Peter Sutcliffe was arrested for a traffic offence
Police have confirmed they are re-examining an item of clothing belonging to the Yorkshire Ripper - 22 years after they ordered its destruction.

Peter Sutcliffe was wearing the home-made leggings under his clothes when he was arrested in South Yorkshire in January 1981.

West Yorkshire Police asked for the leggings to be incinerated along with various other items after Sutcliffe was jailed for the murder of 13 women.

But Detective Constable Alan Foster kept them at his home in Leeds in case Sutcliffe was ever released and could be linked to more crimes.

Mr Foster, 47, who has been retired for 10 years, told a local newspaper that his decision had been vindicated by the emergence of DNA.

A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman told BBC News Online: "We have been handed an item of clothing allegedly part of exhibits sent for destruction at the end of the Ripper inquiry.

"We are exploring what, if any, forensic value it may have.

"The way in which the clothing has been stored will clearly have a significant impact in determining this."

She added that the clothing was now in the hands of forensic experts.



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