Brady's legal challenge

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The Independent Online

Media Correspondent

Ian Brady is seeking to launch the first High Court challenge of a Press Complaints Commission ruling over a Sun article headlined "Well-fed face of evil child murderer".

The feature, illustrated with long-lens photographs of Brady, began: "This is the new face of Moors murderer Ian Brady - bloated by soft living in a cushy hospital. The evil child-killer feasts on a choice of menus including steak and salmon."

The article last July claimed that Brady, who was sentenced to life in 1966 for killing five children with Myra Hindley, was "no longer the gaunt figure he used to be" and compared Ashworth hospital in Merseyside to a top hotel. "He has a five-star room with his own key, access to a swimming pool, multi-gym, library, tennis courts and a football pitch," it added. Charles Kaye, chief executive of the Special Hospitals Service Authority which runs Ashworth, immediately sought permission from Brady to complain to the commission over the article. He believed the article flouted its codes on privacy, particularly regarding long-lens pictures.

However, the managing editor of the Sun, William Newman, defended the paper in a letter which argued: "Public interest demands that we should continue to monitor the progress of such evil people through our prison and secure hospital establishments."

The commission upheld the Sun in a ruling which Mr Kaye says mirrors the tabloid's own defence. "As well as being a patient at Ashworth, Ian Brady is also a notorious child murderer - a matter in itself which justifies scrutiny of him in the public interest." The adjudication has triggered Brady's legally-aided High Court challenge to the commission - the first in its five-year history.