Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Brady 'wants to end life in prison'

Ian Brady wants to be transferred to a prison from the secure Ashworth Hospital, where he is on hunger strike

Moors murderer Ian Brady wants to go to prison so he is "free to end his life", a mental health tribunal has heard.

Brady, 75, has brought the tribunal because he wants to be judged sane so he can be transferred to prison from maximum security Ashworth Hospital on Merseyside.

The murderer, who has been on hunger strike since 1999 and is force-fed through a tube, claims he has faked psychotic episodes in the past, the tribunal heard.

The hearing, held in a room inside Ashworth and relayed by video to Manchester Civil Justice Centre where journalists and victims' relatives watched on TV screens, gave the first public sighting of the child killer in decades. He and partner Myra Hindley were responsible for the murders of five youngsters in the 1960s.

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

Wearing a dark jacket, he sat hunched over, elbows leaning on the desk in front of him, between two female members of his legal team. A tube crossed his cheek, going into his right nostril and at times he appeared to be making notes off-screen with his right hand. He spoke briefly, in a gravelly, Scottish accent, at the start of the hearing to ask about the procedure of the tribunal, but his words were mostly inaudible.

Expert witness Dr Adrian Grounds, a criminologist, told the hearing that Brady claimed he was feigning mental illness, having learned the symptoms while working as a cleaner inside Wormwood Scrubs jail and adopting "acting techniques". He said Brady was of the view that "he could not be force-fed" if he is moved to prison.

According to Dr Grounds, 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.

But Dr Grounds said 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. 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 tribunal continues.

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