A WOMAN who survived a horrific attack by the Yorkshire Ripper has written a book revealing how she re-built her life.

Mo Lea was a student at Leeds University when she was followed home by Peter Sutcliffe. He hit her over the head repeatedly with a hammer and stabbed her with a screwdriver, leaving her with life-threatening injuries.

This month is 40 years since the attack that left Mo for dead. Her book, Facing the Yorkshire Ripper The Art of Survival, offers a fresh insight into being labelled a victim of the Bradford killer. Now an artist and teacher, Mo reveals how she used drawing to express trauma, finding the creative process healing, and the book includes artwork conveying her state of mind after the attack. She recalls life during Sutcliffe's reign of terror and how, after wrestling with the past, she emerged as "a survivor with a success story".

She writes of being followed by Sutcliffe as she walked to a bus stop, after an evening at a pub with friends, on Saturday October 25, 1980: "It struck me that he had been hiding something underneath his jacket and a surge of panic and terror kicked in. I started sprinting. But as my steps increased in pace so did his. My whole body burned with fear. I heard a massive crack, bang on the top of my head. I could feel my head imploding with the force. I couldn’t find my voice as I tried to scream. I was winded, my eyes bulged desperately as I searched for the street lights, but I could only see the road looming up towards me. I hit the side of my face on a low wall and fell hard onto the pavement. I blacked out. I heard a faint voice calling out to me. Opening my eyes, I saw an intense light"..."inside an ambulance and I fell back into unconsciousness. The next thing I remembered was waking up dazed in a hospital bed."

Over the years the Ripper story would occasionally appear on the News. Mo learned to contain her anxiety but she couldn't predict or escape these reminders of the attack. She found solace in art, as an outlet for her pain, anger, suffering and recovery.

In a short film by Robert Duque, called Facing Evil, Mo was filmed creating a drawing from a famous photograph of Peter Sutcliffe and tearing it up; rendering him as disposable as a piece of litter.

"I am filmed ripping it up - I rip up the Ripper," she said. "Making and then destroying the drawing diminished Sutcliffe for me. It turned the historical crime story on its head. I objectify Sutcliffe and walk away, trampling over the shreds of paper as the triumphant survivor."

* Facing the Yorkshire Ripper The Art of Survival is published by Pen & Sword Books, £19.99.