Ian Brady to face mental health tribunal in public


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The Independent Online

Moors Murderer Ian Brady's mental health tribunal will be held in public this summer, a judge has ruled. It is only the second time such a hearing has been open to scrutiny in this way.

The tribunal, which will start on 9 July and is expected to last eight days, will take place at Ashworth high security psychiatric hospital in Sefton, Merseyside. It will be relayed to the civil justice centre in Manchester, where the public will be able to observe the proceedings, Judge Robert Atherton ruled.

The hearing will be a rare chance to see the Moors Murderer in public. But no members of the public will be admitted to the hearing room at the hospital, and "further consideration" is being given as to whether any members of the media will be allowed in the room, the judge said.

Brady, 74, who has spent the last 25 years at Ashworth hospital , wants to be transferred to a Scottish prison and be allowed to die.

In October last year, Albert Haines, 52, became the the first psychiatric patient to have an appeal against detention held in public. He made legal history when he successfully argued that his case should be considered at an open hearing but he lost his battle to be freed from Broadmoor Hospital.

A mental health tribunal ruled that the nature or degree of his mental disorder meant he should not be released from the high-security psychiatric institution. He was convicted of two counts of attempted wounding in September 1986.

Brady and his partner, Myra Hindley, were responsible for the murders of five young people in the 1960s. They lured children and teenagers to their deaths, sexually torturing their victims before burying them on Saddleworth Moor above Manchester.

Pauline Reade, 16, disappeared on her way to a disco on 12 July, 1963, and John Kilbride, 12, was snatched in November the same year. Keith Bennett was snatched on 16 June, 1964, after he left home to visit his grandmother; Lesley Ann Downey, 10, was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964; and Edward Evans, 17, was killed in October 1965.

Keith Bennett's mother Winnie Johnson has made repeated calls for Brady to reveal the location of his grave. She said in December that she wanted to come "face-to-face" with her son's killer.

Mrs Johnson, 78, of Longsight, Manchester, said she wanted to be at Brady's hearing to see if he would reveal where he had buried her son. "I want to listen to what he has got to say, if he is going to say anything important," she said. "I have never seen him face to face. It would hurt but the point is I want to be there. The only way I can find out is going and facing him."