Moors murderer Ian Brady faces mental health tribunal in public

Killer will appeal for move from Ashworth high-security hospital to a Scottish prison

Ian Brady, the Moors murderer, will appear in public for the first time in years to argue for a move from a top-security hospital so he can fulfil his wish to die in a mainstream prison.

Brady, who with his partner, Myra Hindley, was responsible for the murders of five youngsters in the 1960s, will appear at only the second mental health tribunal to be held in public as he pushes for a move from Ashworth Hospital, where he has been held for the past 25 years.

Brady has been on hunger strike since 1999 to try to end his life but has been force-fed through tubes at Ashworth. The procedure is allowed at psychiatric hospitals. But the rules are different in prison and it would not be allowed. "Without the powers of the Mental Health Act it will not be possible for the authorities to continue with this forced-feeding regime," said his solicitor, Richard Nicholas, in a statement.

Brady – now aged 73, and who has said he wants to die in a Scottish prison – failed in a legal attempt 10 years ago to be allowed to starve himself to death.

The High Court was given a letter in 2001 in which he stated: "I have merely decided that after 34 years' captivity, and a future of dying slowly in a regressive, penal warehouse, I wish to exit."

Successive governments have ruled out freeing him because of the brutality of his crimes. Hindley died in prison in November 2002, aged 60.

Judge Robert Atherton agreed in October to allow the hearing to be held in public following an application by Brady but it could be reported for the first time only yesterday. No date or venue has been set.

Brady, then aged 28, was convicted in 1966 with Hindley of murdering Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17. Brady was also convicted of murdering John Kilbride, 12. The pair lured the children away and sexually tortured them before they buried their bodies on Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester. In 1987, the pair admitted killing Keith Bennett, who was snatched in 1964, and Pauline Reade, 16, who disappeared on the way to a disco. The pair were taken back to Saddleworth Moor in 1987 to help police to find the remains of the missing victims, but only Pauline's body was found.

This year, Keith Bennett's mother, Winnie Johnson, made a DVD appealing to Brady after she was diagnosed with cancer. In it, she pleaded with Brady to reveal the location of her son's body, saying it was her "last chance".

In October, the first psychiatric patient to have an appeal against detention held in public lost his legal battle to be freed from Broadmoor Hospital. Albert Haines, 52, made legal history when he successfully argued that his case should be considered at an open hearing. But 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. Haines was convicted of two counts of attempted wounding in September 1986 after he tried to attack a doctor and a nurse at the Maudsley psychiatric hospital in Camberwell, south London.

Moors Murders Timeline

1961

Myra Hindley meets Ian Brady and swiftly becomes infatuated with him.

1963

Hindley claims that Brady starts to talk of the "perfect murder". They kill Pauline Reade in July and, four months later, John Kilbride, after he is lured away from a market.

1964

Keith Bennett is snatched after leaving his house to visit his grandmother. Lesley Ann Downey, 10, is enticed from a funfair on Boxing Day and killed.

1965

Edward Evans, 17, is murdered at the couple's home in Manchester. Brady's brother-in-law witnesses the killing and calls the police.

1966

The pair are jailed for life at Chester Assizes.

1985

Brady is declared criminally insane and moved to Ashworth high security hospital.

1987

Police discover the remains of Pauline Reade but fail to find any trace of Keith Bennett's body. Brady returns to Saddleworth moor under guard but fails to find anything.

1999

Ian Brady goes on hunger strike.

2002

Myra Hindley dies in prison.

2003

Brady waves away officers when they walk into his ward to talk to him about finding Keith Bennett's remains.

2009

Police say they will never again allow Brady the "thrill" of leading detectives on a fruitless search.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks