Britain's 'crossbow cannibal' in suicide bid: reports

10th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

A man accused of killing three prostitutes in Britain has been treated by medics after an apparent suicide attempt, officials and newspaper reports said Thursday.

Criminology student Stephen Griffiths, 40, has been charged with the murders of Suzanne Blamires, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth. All three women worked as prostitutes in Bradford, northern England.

The Sun and the Daily Mirror reported that Griffiths, who dubbed himself the "crossbow cannibal" in a court appearance, was found on the floor of his cell at Wakefield Prison with a bag over his head and a sock around his neck.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice said: "We can confirm that a prisoner at HMP Wakefield received treatment in the prisoner care wing following an incident of self-harm."

No further details were given about the incident but the spokeswoman said Griffiths did not need hospital treatment.

On Monday, the suspect appeared at Bradford Crown Court via videolink from prison. He was given a provisional trial date of November 16 and judge James Goss also set a review hearing for July 16.

Armitage, 31, was last seen on April 26, and her remains were found in the River Aire in nearby Shipley, as were those of Blamires, 36, who went missing on May 21.

Rushworth, 43, has not been seen since last June and her body has yet to be found.

The killings in Bradford have evoked memories of the infamous "Yorkshire Ripper", Peter Sutcliffe, who murdered 13 women in the 1970s.

© 2010 AFP

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