Hindley hypnosis may find victim

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Myra Hindley has been given permission to be hypnotised to help find the last body of her victims, but she may not be fit to return to the scene of her crimes for up to a year.

According to Joe Chapman, her counsellor, Hindley, 52, is psychologically too weak to take advantage of the offer, made yesterday by Michael Forsyth, the Prisons Minister.

"It is only a month since she was told she will never be released from prison and she is still trying to come to terms with that," said Mr Chapman.

"At the moment we are dealing with one month at a time. She is under enormous pressure. To hypnotise her now and take her back up to Saddleworth Moor would be enormously counterproductive for Myra and the families of the victims."

Hindley initially made the offer to be hypnotised last year as part of efforts to find Keith Bennett, one of the five children she and Ian Brady murdered on the edge of the Peak District. Yesterday, after a meeting with Winifred Johnson, Keith's mother, Mr Forsyth said he would grant permission. Mrs Johnson said that she was "on cloud nine" after the meeting, adding: "I have got what I want." She said all that remained were medical checks to be carried out on her and Hindley. "If her words are true she wants it done, but as I have said she could change her mind at any time," Mrs Johnson added.

Hindley's solicitor, Andrew McCooey, said she had always been willing to be hypnotised or to take a truth drug if it would result in Keith being given a Christian burial.

It emerged last night, however, that no one had mentioned the proposed exercise to Hindley.

"She was not aware of the meeting with Mrs Johnson," Mr Chapman said. "She desperately wants to help in any way she can, and the decision will be hers, but I simply don't think she will be up to it for at least nine months, perhaps a year."