CORRIE legend Bruce Jones has revealed he tried to kill himself after struggling to live with the torment of finding one of Peter Sutcliffe’s victims.
The actor – who played layabout loudmouth Les Battersby in the ITV soap – was so disturbed by the grisly discovery of Jean Jordan that he took an overdose and had to be rushed to hospital.
Bruce Jones struggled to live with the torment of finding one of Sutcliffe’s victimsCredit: ANDREW PRICE
Speaking exclusively about the incident for the first time Bruce said: “What I saw that day changed my life forever.
“Every time I’d close my eyes I’d see that poor girl and be reminded of what that monster did to her.
“In the weeks afterwards I just wanted a way out and for the nightmares to stop. That’s why I tried to do myself in.”
Bruce even later took a job as a fireman thinking if he died in a blaze it would be another way out of his hell.
But the father-of-four eventually pulled himself round and kept going for the sake of his children.
“I knew I couldn’t let the Ripper win,” Bruce said.
“I told myself I needed to live and keep going – not just for myself and for my kids too.”
Bruce’s candid-admission today comes just over a week after Sutcliffe’s death from Covid-19.
The actor has spoken out about the incident for the first time Credit: ANDREW PRICE
The actor played Les Battersby in Coronation StreetCredit: PA
Peter Sutcliffe murdered 13 women and attempted to kill moreCredit: GETTY
Bruce says he believes the serial killer, who murdered 13 women and attempted to murder seven others between 1975 and 1980, was hiding in bushes when he found the butchered remains of Jean.
Sutcliffe killed the mum-of-two sex worker by bludgeoning her to death with a hammer and then dumping her on wasteland in Manchester.
Recalling the events of that horrific day back in 1977, Bruce says: “When I found her I looked down and initially just froze.
“He’d butchered the poor girl and words could never describe the way he treated her.
“I ran over to a phone box across the road to call the police and, as I did, I noticed a face in the bushes.
“To this day I am sure it was Sutcliffe.
“He had jet black hair and these piercing eyes staring back at me. It was like a monster looking back.”
Bruce – who appeared on the Cobbles between 1997 and 2007 – was initially treated as a suspect but was quickly let go.
Six months later he had a flashback about what he’d seen in the bushes and reported it to cops – who were still hunting for the fugitive Ripper.
“They told me it was the third similar description and asked why I’d waited so long to come forward,” Bruce says.
“I explained I’d been in shock. I think a lot of what happened that day I’d tried to forget. But I am sure it was him.
“Maybe he got a kick out of seeing those poor girls being found.”
The torment of that day led to the breakdown of Bruce’s first marriage and sent him spiralling into a booze addiction which would eventually see him bravely agree to two bouts of rehab.
“I lost so much because of that man,” Bruce said yesterday.
“It destroyed me to learn that people can do that to a human being. I had nightmares like you wouldn’t believe. I still do.”
Bruce, now working as a film actor, still relies heavily on the support of ex-wife Sandra, now a close friend, and other pals.
He said: “When I found out last week he’d died I was delighted and just shouted: “Yes, at last’.
“I feel so sorry for the victims and I just hope that his death means they can finally get some peace.
“As for the Ripper I’d have loved to have got my hands on him.
“I’d have kicked the crap out of him and I wouldn’t have stopped until someone pulled me off.
“Now he’s gone I want him to rot in hell. And I hope I finally escape the ghost of that man.”
Jones said ‘words could never describe’ the way the victim was treatedCredit: ANDREW PRICE
Peter Sutcliffe died of Covid-19 over a week agoCredit: Ian Whittaker