A Bradford-based journalist who claimed to be the first to discover the identity of the Yorkshire Ripper has died at the age of 82.

Derek Crabtree, who worked for a news agency between 1968 and 1993 that was originally set up by his grandfather, claimed to be the first journalist to discover the identity of the Yorkshire Ripper when he found police surrounding Peter Sutcliffe’s Bradford home.

Derek Crabtree (Pic: Telegraph & Argus)

Derek Crabtree (Pic: Telegraph & Argus)

Sutcliffe’s crimes were one of the biggest stories of the 20th century. He was eventually handed 20 life sentences for murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven others during a five-year killing spree in West Yorkshire.

Stanley Pearson, chairman of the Retired Telegraph & Argus Editorial Employees group, told the Telegraph and Argus: “He never lost touch with life after he retired.

“We made an exception making him a member because although he was not a T&A employee as such, he had worked day, noon and night supplying us with news.

“We often joked he deserved to be a member because he did more work single-handedly than half the newsroom together.”

He leaves a wife Marion, two daughters and four grandchildren.