The identity of the notorious Yorkshire Ripper hoaxer known as "Wearside Jack" was finally exposed yesterday with an admission by a former window cleaner.

John Humble, 50, has been charged in connection with a series of letters and an audio tape which were sent to West Yorkshire Police during the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper, Bradford lorry driver Peter Sutcliffe, more than 25 years ago.

As reported in later editions of yesterday's Telegraph & Argus, Humble's defence counsel David Taylor told Leeds Crown Court his client now admitted writing the letters and making the tape. But he said Humble, pictured, denied intending to pervert the course of justice.

Humble, of Flodden Road, Sunderland, was not in court for the hearing during which Judge James Stewart QC lifted reporting restrictions on the case.

Humble has pleaded not guilty to four counts of perverting the course of justice, relating to each of the three letters and the audio tape he sent during the Ripper inquiry.

Mr Taylor told the court: "A defence statement has now been drafted whereby the defence concedes that he wrote the letters and in fact made the tape.

"The issue now is not one of whether it actually was him, it's solely the question of intent." Mr Taylor stressed that Humble's not guilty pleas still stood.

Two of the letters were sent directly to Assistant Chief Constable George Oldfield, who led the investigation in the late 1970s.

A third letter was sent to a national newspaper office in Manchester.

The audio tape, which purported to be from the murderer and taunted the police, was played to a spellbound public by detectives in 1979.

Following the receipt of the letters and the tape, a huge police effort was concentrated on Sunderland after senior officers decided the Wearside voice on the tape was the murderer.

But the letters and tape were exposed as a hoax when Sutcliffe was arrested in 1981 and confessed to being the Ripper.

Sutcliffe, now 59, was jailed for life later that year for the murder of 13 women and is being held at Broadmoor Special Hospital.

Judge Stewart adjourned the case until March 20 when Humble is due to go on trial.