Letters from Peter Sutcliffe and Rose West for sale on internet

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The items are being offered by a British seller via a controversial US-based website, in an enterprise which has been described by the family of one victim as "against common decency".

Adam Walsh, a shop assistant from Beckenham, south-east London, is asking £500 for a poem handwritten and illustrated by Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, which dates from 1981, the year of his arrest. He is serving life for murdering 13 women between 1975 and 1980.

Another item up for sale is a letter from Sutcliffe to a former female pen pal, which includes a small self-portrait depicting the grinning, bearded killer snuggling up to a woman. Letters from Sutcliffe are offered with starting prices of £200 to £250, sent from addresses including the Dorchester Ward and Dunstable Ward of Broadmoor maximum security psychiatric hospital.

A three-page letter from West, the "House of Horrors" killer and widow of Fred West, to a male friend named "Bill", with the address given as the high-security female unit at Durham prison, carries a starting price of £300. In the letter, West claims she is innocent of the 10 murders of which she was convicted in 1995.

"I have never seen anyone selling West letters before. These are ultra rare and I have only one," says Mr Walsh in his description of the item.

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