Hindley says reports of relationship is `nonsense'

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The Independent Online
Myra Hindley is to complain to the Press Complaints Commission about newspaper claims that she has developed a "macabre" relationship with Rosemary West in prison.

In a statement released to the Independent yesterday, the Moors murderer denied reports that she had held hands with West, that they had prayed together, watched television or cooked meals for one another in Durham jail.

Reports of a relationship have been circulating since last month when West, 41, was jailed for life for the murders of 10 women and girls, including her daughter, Heather, 16, and stepdaughter, Charmaine, eight.

Both women are serving life sentences on the jail's top-security women's H-wing, but they are currently in the prison hospital, where Hindley is recovering from a broken leg and West is under 24-hour watch because of fears that she may try to follow her husband Frederick and commit suicide. The two women being held yards apart but, according to Hindley, they have not become friends.

A front page report in the Daily Mail headlined: "Hand in hand with Hindley" appeared the day after West was sentenced It said: "The two most evil women in Britain - both openly bisexual - have been seen holding hands in Durham Prison. They were drawn together by shared religion, and the 51-year-old Moors Murderess became West's confidante and adviser. They have made unsupervised visits to each other's cell, and prayed together in the jail chapel.

"Hindley even sent a `Good Luck' card before the start of the 31-day trial at Winchester Crown Court which has appalled the nation."

In a hand-written statement, Hindley said she initially decided to ignore the claims but now had "no option" other than to refute them because they had been picked up and repeated by other newspapers.

She wrote: "On 27 May 1966, the day after my own trial and conviction twenty nine and a half years ago, my name was on the front page of the Daily Mail and every other newspaper in the country. On 23 November 1995, my name was on the front page of the Daily Mail in massive headlines `Hand in hand with Hindley', reporting my `macabre' friendship with Rosemary West."

Describing the report as "nonsense", she said she intends to write to the Press Complaints Commission. "I will be refuting claims that Rosemary West and myself have formed a `macabre' friendship, that we have ever held hands, prayed together in the chapel or anywhere else, cooked snacks for each other, watched television together in each other's cells and that I sent her a `Good Luck' card before the start of the trial or at any other time. Nor was I `fascinated' by her when she arrived on H-wing. She was on H-wing before I arrived and was just one of 44 inmates."

Her complaint, she said, would be against the Daily Mail and the London Evening Standard, which repeated the story.

"Whoever these `prison sources' are who made these `revelations' to the Mail and other papers, it is obvious to me that they received money for this `information', and it is yet another example of chequebook journalism," she wrote.

The Home Office refused to discuss the speculation yesterday, arguing that it never comments on individual prisoners. But a source with access to the wing said:"When there are only 44 people in a confined space, it is inevitable that almost everyone will spend some time with everyone else at some point.

"I'm sure Hindley has spoken to West but there is no special relationship.

Another source said: "The reports are completely untrue."