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
Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing