In his first appearance in public for half a century serial child killer Ian Brady, one of the Moors Murderers, has appeared at a mental health tribunal to prove that he is sane so he can be moved from a high security hospital to a prison where he will be allowed to starve himself to death. His partner in the killing of five children, Myra Hindley, died in prison in 2002.

The court heard that Brady had shown ‘chronic anger’, taken to being active at night and sleeping in his clothes during the day, and had carried around a pen as a weapon in case of attack.

A forensic psychologist described Brady as having: “”severe personality disorder characterised by superiority, self-centredness, contempt, hostility”.

Since his imprisonment in 1966 Brady has shown no remorse or empathy for his victims.

bothBrady and Hindley abducted, tortured, sexually assaulted and killed at least five children between July 1963 and October 1965, and buried their bodies on the desolate Saddleworth Moors near Manchester in the UK. Only four bodies were ever found.

During the latest hearing a forensic scientist said that Brady had remarked:

“It was an existential exercise, personal philosophy and interpretation and in some way his behaviour was petty compared to politicians and soldiers in relation to wars.”

At the time of the murders the death penalty, by hanging, was being phased out but may still have been applied to serial killers. By the time of the trial capital punishment had been removed from the statute books.

Brady has argued that he should have died and wants to die. He has been on hunger strike in a secure hospital where he has been force-fed by tube for more than a decade. He wants to be moved to a prison where he believes he would be allowed to die.

searchAt the hearings, held behind closed doors at Ashworth Hospital and relayed by video to victim’s relatives, Brady appeared with a feeding tube hanging from his nose.

Brady was declared insane with paranoid schizophrenia in 1985 and has been confined in Ashworth, a secure hospital ever since. He was later diagnosed as having psychotic symptoms but Brady claims he was acting.

The hearing will run for a week and will not cover the location of the missing body of Keith Bennett, which Brady continues to keep to himself — an expression perhaps of his obsessive need for control.

See also:

The Moors Murderers: Myra Hindley and Ian Brady

More stories from Bob Couttie







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