Whitehall line on Hindley 'insulting and unreasoned'

The terms in which the Home Office refused to allow Myra Hindley to undergo a 'truth drug' test in an attempt to locate the buried body of one of her victims were condemned as 'insulting and outrageous' in the High Court yesterday.

In a powerful judgment, Mr Justice Turner expressed the hope that the case might bring a Freedom of Information Act closer to reality. He said he had no choice but to refuse a request by Winifred Johnson, 60, of Fallowfield, Greater Manchester, the mother of the victim, for leave to seek a judicial review of the Home Office's 'abrupt and unreasoned' refusal last September to allow the test. He said she had 'no legal right to know the reasons why the request advanced by her solicitors was turned down'.

Hindley agreed to take sodium pentathol, said the judge, and there was evidence it might provide the information to find the body of 12- year-old Keith Bennett - killed by Hindley and Ian Brady in 1964, and the last of the known victims of the Moors Murderers still to be found.

Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, is expected to decide this summer whether Hindley should be entitled to parole.

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