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‘Brilliant’ crime reporter who covered Ripper case dies aged 76

Rod HopkinsonA “brilliant” crime reporter who served two regional dailies during his career has died aged 76.

Tributes have been paid to Rod Hopkinson, who served both the Bradford Telegraph & Argus and the Yorkshire Evening Post during his career.

Among other notorious crimes, Rod, pictured, covered the Yorkshire Ripper case for the Telegraph & Argus.

However, according to his daughter Holly Jordan, he was unable to report on serial killer Peter Sutcliffe’s conviction at the Old Bailey because it clashed with his honeymoon.

She told HTFP: “He had to go down to the Old Bailey but he missed some of it due to his honeymoon. He wasn’t there to finish it so I think he was a bit gutted.

“He was really work-focused so me and my brother didn’t get to see him a lot because he lived and breathed his work.

“He had to socialise with everybody because that’s how he got the stories. He was very work-driven and it came with a lot more socialising in those days.”

Rod worked for the T&A throughout the 1980s and moved to the Leeds-based YEP around the mid-90s.

Yorkshire journalist Robert Sutcliffe, who recently left the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, said: “He was a brilliant reporter, a very good writer and a great character. He was described as ‘the Cary Grant of Greetland’ by my mom, Margaret Hardy.

“You didn’t have to be in Rod’s company for long before he would ask: ‘Are we having a wet?’

“On one occasion when I was at the Yorkshire Post, my Sun journalist friend, Alastair Taylor, Rod and myself, enjoyed 24 pints of Tetley’s beer, cask of course, at The Town Hall Tavern, mercifully just a few minutes walk from Leeds Crown Court where we were due to cover a case.

“Rod had helpfully trimmed up a receptionist to keep us abreast of developments.”

Alastair added: “He was just great with people. He had great police contacts when he was a crime reporter and when he became a court reporter he knew all of the barristers in Leeds.

“He was just a really good reporter but very old-fashioned in his outlook – he’d go for a pint at lunch and after work – though he always got the job done.”

Rod, who died on 19 September, is survived by his wife Shirley, children from his first marriage Holly and Jack, and grandchildren Max, Toby, Seth, Kit and Mae.

His funeral was held on Friday 6th October.