Mo Lea was an art student in Leeds when she unknowingly went through the worst experience of her life and became the target of notorious serial killer Peter Sutcliffe.
A woman from Liverpool, who was brutally attacked by the Yorkshire Ripper 40 years ago but survived to tell the story, has revealed how she finally defeated her demons.
Mo Lea was almost severed by Peter Sutcliffe when he pushed her to the ground and attacked her with a sharp screwdriver.
She took a shortcut through a dark street where the lights were off before she suddenly heard a “friendly” voice behind her.
It was October 25, 1980, and the friends went their separate ways shortly after 10 pm when Mo decided to walk through the university campus to catch the bus.
A former student at Rice Lane Primary School, she was out with friends at a pub in Chapeltown, planning her 21st birthday.
In an interview with Echo, Mo, now 60 years old, remembers: “I didn’t recognize him and he seemed strange…
the man asked: “Hey, how are you?”
“I was overcome with fear when I heard his footsteps speed up behind me.
I said, “Goodbye,” then I realized that I was in danger, and I started running.
“I felt a blow to the back of my head, the sidewalk came up to my face and then I fainted.
The evil Sutcliffe had struck her head with a hammer and tried to sever her spinal cord with a sharp screwdriver in his near-fatal attack, just like his other victims, on his way to his cruel tribute of 13 murders.
Mo woke up in hospital with horrible injuries – a fractured skull, a broken zygomatic bone, a broken jaw, a stab wound to the back of her skull and many cuts and bruises.
When Mo’s parents first saw her in the hospital, her injuries were so bad that they did not recognize her because of her two black eyes.
Soon after, she learned how a brave couple had intervened on the street when she saw the Ripper bending over Mo on the floor and brutally attacking her with the makeshift weapons, which caused him to run away.
“What they did saved my life,” says the former student of Liverpool Girl’s College, who used to live in the Walton district.
On her 21st birthday, her jaw had to be operated, a very different way of remembering the milestone than she had planned.