Moors murderer Brady says killings are 'petty'
Ian Brady believes the Moors murders to be "petty" compared with the behaviour of "politicians and soldiers", a judge was told as the child killer made his first courtroom appearance for 47 years.
Brady (75) told a doctor that murdering five children with Myra Hindley, his accomplice, had been an "existential exercise" which was part of a "personal philosophy and interpretation".
He claimed he had been "acting" when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and a personality disorder almost 30 years ago.
The comments were made to a psychiatrist who examined Brady before yesterday's mental health tribunal, in which the killer is asking to be transferred from Ashworth maximum security hospital on Merseyside to a prison, so that he can starve himself to death.
On the first day of the hearing, Brady spoke only briefly, mumbling a largely unintelligible question about the legal process. The tribunal is being held at Ashworth but relayed to the Civil Justice Centre in Manchester so that his victims' families and the public can observe.
Speaking off camera, his voice was croaky, with a soft Glaswegian accent, affected perhaps by the tube in his nose, through which he has been fed since going on hunger strike in 1999.
Then the camera swung to where Brady sat, showing him in profile. The quiff of his infamous police mugshot remains, though his hair is now grey. For a man who has been incarcerated for most of his life, and on hunger strike for 14 years, Brady looked remarkably healthy; younger than his years, with colour in his cheeks and with few wrinkles.
Dr Adrian Grounds, a senior lecturer in forensic psychiatry who has met Brady 10 times, said it was not certain that Brady has a mental illness and it was "inconceivable" that his current condition would justify detention in hospital.
Brady, Britain's longest-serving prisoner, argues that he is no longer ill enough to warrant detention in hospital.
The hearing continues.