The Yorkshire Ripper will change his name before he dies in order to prevent people from vandalizing his grave. Peter Sutcliffe, 69, is serving 20 life sentences at Broadmoor hospital after he was found guilty of murdering 13 women during a five-year period.

The convicted killer suffered a suspected heart attack in 2014 and also has diabetes, and it is believed that he is on "the brink of death". Sutcliffe reportedly told a friend that he was concerned that someone would desecrate his grave unless he changes his name, according to the Sun.

Sutcliffe told the source that he had decided to choose one of his German ancestors surnames to replace his name in a bid to hide his true identity. He reportedly told his friend: "I might change it to one of my ancestors – that would be legal."

It has been reported that Sutcliffe's friend – an undertaker – has offered to provide the serial killer with a free funeral, which will likely be held in accordance with Sutcliffe's Jehovah Witness beliefs.

Sutcliffe will probably die in custody after appeals for him to be released on the grounds of his ill health were rejected by the courts. He also failed in his bid leave the high-security psychiatric hospital and to be moved to a prison.

Suttcliffe was convicted for the murders of the 13 women, some of whom were prostitutes, in 1981. He claimed that the voice of God had sent him to Earth to kill prostitutes. Suttcliffe was diagnosed as having paranoid schizophrenia.

During his time in custody, he has been attacked at least three times by fellow prisoners, including one incident where a fellow inmate slashed Suttcliffe's face with a blade.