What emotions would rush to mind if you were to hear that one of the most evil sadists of recent history had been stabbed in the eyes? Yes, it is a vicious image. But this week Peter Sutcliffe - a former lorry driver who in 1981 earned notoriety as the Yorkshire ripper for the vicious murder and mutilation of 13 woman in the north of England - was stabbed in both eyes with a felt tipped pen by a fellow inmate of Broadmoor Hospital for the criminally insane. One television channel led its evening news with the story, most of the tabloids splashed their front pages with it and even 'serious' broadsheets like the Financial Times carried it on the front page. Some killers remain etched on a national psyche for the rest of their lives and when something horrible happens to them we are not sure how we should react. Has some vicious justice been done or do we use the information to reflect on how far out of the jungle we are individually? The papers all carried one of the few pictures of Sutcliffe they must possess which dates from his wedding in the 1970s. The picture is of a be-suited, well built, certainly not ugly man, with full dark beard and dark hair. We hear he now looks quite otherwise, fat and grey haired. The BBC then broke into its midnight news with the fact that John Sutcliffe, the Ripper's father, had been informed that his son had not been blinded and his sight would not be affected long term. If someone had attacked the Queen Mother there could hardly have been more publicity. My thesis is this: had it been a once prominent but long-forgotten politician or showbiz character from 1981 who had received such violence it would only have merited a paragraph or two. But pack someone off to prison for crimes such as his and the attached notoriety remains sealed away out of sight but never ultimately fades away. Britons turn time and again to tales of their worst criminals whether it be 1960s gangsters the Kray brothers or Moors murderer Myra Hindley - a child killer. For some perverse reason we never let ourselves forget these people. thus, I suppose, constantly re-stoking the fires of their evil celebrity and therefore attracting other mad men and women to mimic their crimes. In Bangkok they will offer to take you to women, in Marrakesh it's cannabis for sale, but passengers in London's cabs may soon get a real 'earful' - a sales pitch advertising mobile phones. Taxi drivers the world over are never short of something to say. But now the German electronics company Siemens has hit on a way to capitalise on the cabby's greatest asset - his voice, with a sales pitch for its mobile phones. You can imagine the banter. 'Ere, I 'ad that Tom Cruise in the back of me cab only last week. Boy was 'e in a state, couldn't get 'old of the missus, that Nicole Kidman. So I lent him me mobile phone. Siemens it is, latest model, 48 hours stand by, three hours talk time. Ere guv take a look, what d'yer think. Easy terms? Nah bovva.' Already 100 drivers have been trained in the subtle art of advertising for the six-week campaign. The idea is to pepper their normally learned discourse on topics like the previous night's soccer match with crafty mentions of the mobile phones. So if you are coming through London over the next month or so, stick to safe topics like the weather once inside a cab. That reminds me. 'Like to phone up the weather centre on me brand new mobile, guv?'