Moors murderer cleared to publish book by lifting of court injunction

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The Independent Online

The moors murderer Ian Brady won his legal battle yesterday to publish a book in Britain on serial killers when the high-security institution where he is detained withdrew its opposition.

Publication of Brady's book had been blocked by the terms of a High Court injunction granted to Ashworth Hospital on the basis that it could have breached patient confidentiality. The hospital said it was concerned that Brady had written about the crimes and personalities of fellow patients, but yesterday lawyers for the hospital said they had read a manuscript and had found nothing that threatened the confidentiality of either patients or the hospital.

Brady's book, entitled The Gates of Janus: Serial Killing and Analysis has been sold to the American publisher Feral House and will on sale in the United States by the end of the year. It includes profiles of serial killers such as the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe.

Under a deal with a British distributor, the 300-page book was due to be available in Britain in November. But a planned shipment of 3,500 copies from America was halted when the injunction was granted.

At the High Court yesterday Mr Justice Henriques agreed to discontinue the legal action over the book, which apparently contains no references to Ashworth or Brady's crimes. A statement by Ashworth Hospital made clear nothing in the book compromised the hospital in fulfilling its statutory function as a provider of high-security services for mentally disordered patients in the National Health Service. The statement added: "There is therefore no legal basis upon which the court could continue the injunction to restrain publication in this case."

Brady, 63, had assured Ashworth that the book contained no reference to the five killings he committed with Myra Hindley in the 1960s, instead concentrating on the Yorkshire Ripper and American serial killers. Brady and Hindley were jailed for life in 1966.

The book takes its title from Roman mythology: the gates to the Temple of Janus were closed during peacetime, but opened when Rome was at war. Brady's lawyers have said any money he makes from the book will go to his mother.