Longford amazed at Moors evidence

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LORD LONGFORD, the veteran campaigner for Myra Hindley's release, said he was "amazed" that dramatic new evidence in her case had finally emerged.

Yesterday The Independent revealed that Hindley's lawyers would mount a court appeal against her "until death" prison sentence with new evidence that shows her former lover, Ian Brady, forced her to take part in the Moors Murders.

Hindley, 56, says the new evidence includes photographs taken by Brady showing her naked with bruises and injuries caused by bites, whips and canes. She also claims Brady threatened to kill her mother, grandmother and young sister.

The 92-year-old Labour peer who has known Hindley for over three decades said he had never before heard her talk about the photographs or the events that she now wants to present as new evidence. Lord Longford said: "I was amazed at the story. She never told me about the beatings."

Hindley explained the fact that she had concealed the truth about Brady's sadism towards her for so long was because she feared that Brady, now 60, would expose the damaging contents of letter she wrote in secret code to him after they were arrested in 1966.

Lord Longford, who describes Hindley as, "a very brave woman" and "a good Catholic" last saw her in July when he visited her at Highpoint prison in Suffolk to celebrate her 56th birthday. He said: "Despite what the tabloids say she is not evil... she is a good woman and there is no reason that she should be in prison."

Winnie Johnson, the mother of 12-year-old victim Keith Bennett, rubbished Hindley's freedom bid. She dismissed the claims that Brady forced her to take part in the killing, saying: "I don't believe Brady touched her. She went into this with her eyes open. She is trying to build a story to get out."

"The claims are absolute rubbish but she is desperate," said Mrs Johnson, of Fallowfield, Manchester, whose son's body has never been located. "If she carries on, Brady will open up and then she has no chance. He knows what she did and she hasn't said half of what she knows."