Wednesday 21 February 2018

Moors murders 'petty' says killer Ian Brady

Moors Murderer Ian Brady
Moors Murderer Ian Brady

IAN BRADY has described the Moors murders as 'petty' compared with the behaviour of “politicians and soldiers”, a Mental Health Tribunal has heard.

Brady, 75, said murdering five children with his accomplice Myra Hindley was an “existential exercise” which was part of a “personal philosophy and interpretation”.

Brady was seen in public for the first time in decades as his mental health tribunal began today.

Brady, 75, with wavy greying hair, wore a pair of dark spectacles and a dark jacket and was sitting between two female members of his legal team, hunched over, elbows leaning on the desk in front of him, in the tribunal room at the maximum security Ashworth Hospital, Merseyside.

Brady spoke briefly, in a gravelly, pronounced Scottish accent, at the start of proceedings to ask about the procedure of the tribunal, but his words were mostly inaudible.

The hearing was held in a room inside Ashworth but relayed by video to Manchester Civil Justice Centre, where around 40 journalists watched TV screens.

He was seen briefly on screen as the camera panned around the room, introducing the parties at the start of the tribunal.

A handful of people sat watching in a separate room set aside for members of the public while a small number of relatives of victims and their supporters sat in a third room, away from press and public.

The tribunal has been brought by the infamous child killer, who wants to get out of high security Ashworth Hospital on Merseyside.

He has been on hunger strike for more than a decade and is force-fed through a tube in his nose.

Brady believes if he is allowed to go to a prison he will be able to die behind bars.

The tribunal, scheduled to last around a week, was postponed last June when Brady fell ill after suffering a seizure.

It is not known if Brady himself will give evidence.

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

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

Pauline Reade, 16, disappeared on her way to a disco on July 12, 1963 and John Kilbride, 12, was snatched in November the same year.

Keith Bennett was taken on June 16, 1964 after he left home to visit his grandmother; Lesley Ann Downey, 10, was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964; and Edward Evans, 17, was killed in October 1965.

Brady was given life at Chester Assizes in 1966 for the murders of John, Lesley Ann and Edward.

Hindley was convicted of killing Lesley Ann and Edward and shielding Brady after John's murder, and jailed for life.

In 1987 the pair finally admitted killing Keith and Pauline.

Both were taken back to Saddleworth Moor in 1987 to help police find the remains of the missing victims but only Pauline's body was found.

Keith's mother Winnie Johnson made repeated calls for Brady to reveal the location of his grave.

Mrs Johnson, 78, died on August 18 last year without being able to fulfil her last wish of giving her son a proper burial.

Hindley died in jail in November 2002, aged 60.

Brady could be seen occasionally on screen during the evidence, his pale face covered partly by gold, metal-framed dark glasses, below an untidy, Teddy Boy-style haircut.

A tube crossed his cheek, going into his right nostril and he appeared to be making notes off screen with his right hand.

Judge Atherton told the hearing: "There will be no questions about the likely place of the body of Keith Bennett.

"The reason we shall not be making these inquiries is they are not relevant to the issues we have to decide.

"The whereabouts of Keith Bennett's body is not a matter we have authority to inquire about."

The first witness was Dr Cameron Boyd, a forensic psychiatrist, who is the medical member of the panel, sat alongside Judge Atherton.

Dr Boyd gave a brief outline of what was said during four interviews he conducted with Brady over recent months.

"I asked if he wanted to die. He refused to answer that question," Dr Boyd said.

"I asked about previous behaviour that might be seen as abnormal, regarding to his offences.

"He said 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."

Dr Boyd said Brady had been on hunger strike, fed through his nose, since 1999 and had denied being psychotic, claiming he was "acting".

Dr Adrian Grounds was then called to give evidence, taking questions from Brady's lawyer, Nathalie Lieven QC.

Dr Grounds was taken through mental health notes made about Brady since he was first jailed.

The witness said Brady's behaviour was sometimes insulting, angry and hostile and he had been observed talking to himself on a number of occasions, giving rise to discussions as to whether these were symptoms of psychosis.

Dr Grounds said at times in the past there had been "very occasional" but "striking" episodes where Brady appeared to be hallucinating when he was talking to other people while alone in his room.

Dr Grounds said on February 22 this year Brady was observed talking to himself without interruption for four minutes.

But in his opinion, he told the tribunal, the records showed that, while in the 1980s Brady displayed mental illness with psychotic symptoms, with "thought blocking", disordered thoughts, hallucinations and claims that his thoughts were being interfered with, that was not the picture now.

"He speaks of 57 varieties of psychopathology has been invented as far as he is concerned," Dr Grounds added.

Brady told him he had feigned mental illness after learning the symptoms while working as a cleaner inside Wormwood Scrubs jail and adopting "acting techniques".

Dr Grounds said his conclusion was that evidence of psychosis was "equivocal" and, as Brady had received no treatment for such a condition, it showed they had not reached the threshold for compulsory treatment.

The witness said that, in his opinion, Brady has a very severe personality disorder, which he described as "paranoid narcissistic".

He added: "Characterised by superiority, self-centredness, contempt, hostility."

Dr Grounds said: "He's spoken on a number of occasions about wanting to go to prison so he would be able to die.

"He has no hope of release, he's realistic about that and although he would like a better quality of life in future he knows that won't happen and he thinks in prison he would be more free to end his life in his own way than is possible in hospital."

The witness said Brady was of the view that that: "He could not be force fed in prison."

Press Association

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