Moors murderer Ian Brady lives in constant fear and only comes out at night, court hears

The 75-year-old child killer's habits and hospital lifestyle are revealed as he tries to get transferred to a normal prison

Moors murderer Ian Brady feared being attacked by fellow patients at the Ashworth maximum security hospital, carrying a pen around as a weapon and resorting to a nocturnal existence when it was taken away, a mental health tribunal heard today.

The 75-year-old child killer is seeking to prove his sanity and be transferred to a normal prison, where he believes he will be allowed to die, and claims that he faked psychotic episodes by "acting" in the past.

He appeared today by video link at Manchester Civil Justice Centre as the court was told about his daily life and behaviour inside Ashworth, which lawyers for the hospital claim involves being "extremely socially withdrawn and isolated".

In extracts from hospital records, the tribunal heard that Brady has been observed talking to himself in his room, which he claimed was to "exercise his vocal chords".

After falling physically ill, Brady was noted saying about his fellow patients: "In these penal s***holes, any sign of weakness and this lot will jump you." And later: "If I have to, I will never let them see me in pain. I will act as if I have not a care in the world."

He had never been assaulted on the ward, the court heard.

Eleanor Grey QC, on the second day of the hearing, continued to cross-examine criminologist and forensic psychologist Dr Adrian Grounds, called by Brady's legal team to support his case.

Dr Grounds maintained that the evidence is insufficient to prevent Brady's transfer, saying: "He's a very astute observer, a calculator, a strategist.

"Mr Brady is also an extraordinarily self-disciplined man, who will engage in battles with resoluteness that is remarkable. The word masochistic has been used to describe the degree he will suffer pain without showing any compromise, without backing down."

Brady has been on a hunger strike since 1999, but Dr Grounds said this was part of a protest rather than a "suicidal" wish, and that Brady had always co-operated with the process.

Dr Grounds said Brady had picked battles with the authorities during his 19 years in the prison system because "he wants to win something, he has goals".

"The investment in personal battles is something that keeps him going."

Brady and partner Myra Hindley were responsible for the murders of five youngsters in the 1960s.

Brady and Hindley lured children and teenagers to their deaths, with the victims sexually tortured before being buried on Saddleworth Moor above Manchester.

Both were jailed for life at Chester Assizes in 1966. Hindley died in jail in November 2002 at the age of 60.

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