YORKSHIRE Ripper Peter Sutcliffe lost a challenge today against an order that he can never be released.
A High Court judge ruled last year that the serial killer of 13 women must serve a "whole life" tariff.
Sutcliffe, who is now known as Peter Coonan, had his appeal against that order rejected today by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith and Mr Justice Griffith Williams at the Court of Appeal.
The former lorry driver from Bradford was convicted at the Old Bailey in 1981.
Sutcliffe, now 64, received 20 life terms for the murder of 13 women and the attempted murder of others in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
Lord Judge said the "passage of time does not make the appellant's account at trial of how he came to commit these offences any more likely to be credible now than it was then".
He said: "We are not, of course, suggesting that the man who perpetrated these crimes was in any ordinary sense of the words 'normal' or 'average'."
The "sheer abnormality of his actions themselves suggest some element of mental disorder".
But he added: "There is, however, no reason to conclude that the appellant's claim that he genuinely believed that he was acting under divine instruction to fulfill God's will carries any greater conviction now than it did when it was rejected by the jury."
An examination of the "entire catalogue of the offences as a whole demonstrates that this was criminal conduct at the extreme end of horror".
The three judges ruled that the interests of justice required "nothing less" than a whole life order.
Lord Judge said: "Each of the attempted murders, as well as each of the murder offences, taken on its own was a dreadful crime of utmost brutality: taking all the offences together, we have been considering an accumulation of criminality of exceptional magnitude which went far beyond the legislative criteria for a whole-life order.
"Even accepting that an element of mental disturbance was intrinsic to the commission of these crimes, the interests of justice require nothing less than a whole-life order.
"That is the only available punishment proportionate to these crimes."
It was on July 5 1975, just 11 months after his marriage, that Sutcliffe took a hammer and carried out his first attack on a woman.
Sutcliffe is said to have believed he was on a "mission from God" to kill prostitutes - although not all of his victims were sex workers - and was dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper because he mutilated their bodies using a hammer, a sharpened screwdriver and a knife.
The trial judge recommended that he should serve a minimum term of 30 years before he could be considered for parole.
In October 1997 the Home Secretary sought a recommendation from the then Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham, as to the minimum term.
Lord Bingham recommended that the minimum term should be 35 years, but in the end no tariff was set.
Last July, Mr Justice Mitting, sitting at the High Court in London, ruled that Sutcliffe should serve a whole life term.
In his ruling, the judge said the primary submission made on behalf of Sutcliffe was that the degree of his responsibility "was lowered by mental disorder or mental disability".
The diagnosis of psychiatrists who considered his mental condition was that he was "suffering from encapsulated paranoid schizophrenia when he committed the crimes and that his responsibility for the 13 killings was, in consequence, substantially diminished".
But Mr Justice Mitting said: "These propositions were, however, unquestionably rejected by the jury."
He ruled: "It is not, in my opinion, open to a judge, setting a minimum term, to go behind the verdict of the jury by concluding that, although the defendant's responsibility was not proved to have been substantially diminished, he should be given the benefit of the doubt for the purpose of setting the minimum term, by concluding that it might have been."
During Sutcliffe's appeal against Mr Justice Mitting's ruling, his QC argued that the killer's mental disorder justified a minimum jail term of a "finite" number of years.
Edward Fitzgerald told the court: "We accept that the applicant was convicted of the brutal murder of 13 women and the attempted murder of seven others and, on the face of it, we accept that the number and the nature of the murders is such that would call for a whole life tariff.
"The sole submission in this case is that the disorder suffered, and still suffered by the applicant, is a sufficient mitigating circumstance to justify a long, finite term of years instead of a whole life tariff."
Mr Fitzgerald emphasised: "Can I just stress that, of course, the tariff only means the minimum term he must serve before he can apply for parole and it does not have any implications as to release.
"It just means that he would have the opportunity to put his case to the Parole Board."
Lord Judge said the essential argument before the Court of Appeal was again focused on Sutcliffe's state of mind.
He said that, in the context of the evidence from the trial, there were "ample reasons why a jury would have been likely to reject the appellant's account of his divine mission".
From about May 1989 Sutcliffe started to assert that his instructions to kill the women had come from a "diabolical" rather than divine source.