Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Brady 'treated as a special case'

A court artist sketch of moors murderer Ian Brady appearing via video link at Manchester Civil Justice Centre (Elizabeth Cook/PA)
A court artist sketch of moors murderer Ian Brady appearing via video link at Manchester Civil Justice Centre (Elizabeth Cook/PA)
Ian Brady argues he should be returned to jail to serve the rest of his whole life sentence

Moors Murderer Ian Brady is being treated as a "special case" by the hospital fighting to halt his transfer to prison, his mental health tribunal has heard.

His barrister questioned whether Ashworth Hospital had "lost perspective" in being drawn into a battle with the child killer who has previously claimed he wants to kill himself in jail where he cannot be force-fed.

On Tuesday, Brady, 75, told the tribunal panel sitting at the maximum security hospital in Merseyside that he is not psychotic or insane and should be allowed to the serve the rest of his whole life term in prison.

Three independent experts called by Brady's legal team have concluded that he is not mentally ill but agree he has a severe personality disorder. Lawyers for Brady contend that that personality disorder can be managed by the prison system but officials at Ashworth argue that he is also a paranoid schizophrenic who still shows signs of chronic psychosis and needs round-the-clock care.

In her closing submission, Nathalie Lieven QC, for Brady, said there was no therapeutic benefit in Brady staying in Ashworth. She said: "His personality disorder is fixed and effectively static. The reality is that he is being contained but is not gaining with treatment. There is no therapeutic benefit for Mr Brady to remain in hospital. There is an impasse between the hospital and the patient."

She said he refuses medication for his condition and rejects any psychiatric treatment. She said: "Mr Brady is being treated as a special case - whether that's because Ashworth has lost perspective and has been drawn into a battle or because of misplaced maternalism, it is not clear. It is beyond doubt that prisons are overcrowded but why is there any reason to keep him in hospital with the only benefit he can gain being what can only be described as benign containment?"

She said some of the evidence from Ashworth to keep him detained would not be conceivably submitted if it was another, less notorious patient than Brady. There had been no recurrence of the psychosis which led to his transfer from jail to Ashworth in 1985, she said.

His condition rapidly improved once he was admitted but had not changed since, Miss Lieven added. She said ecent cited incidents of hallucination all happened in his room and could be reasonably explained as Brady being "an elderly, socially isolated man talking to the television".

She said there was no reason to believe he would immediately go on hunger strike in jail. Despite evidence that he regularly eats toast and soup, she said his denial on Tuesday that he was eating by choice was because he could not show vulnerability or "loss of face". He would also have been tired from giving evidence at the end of a long tribunal - although he would not admit it, the barrister said.

In conclusion, she said that Brady's personality disorder could be properly managed by a prison system now experienced in that field and his lack of mental illness meant it would be "utterly perverse" to treat him any differently from anyone else in similar circumstances.

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