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Brady tribunal ruling due on Friday

Moors Murderer Ian Brady will learn on Friday whether he can be transferred to prison from the maximum security hospital where he is being held.

The Judicial Communications Office said a decision would be released at about midday. Reasons for the decision will be given at a later date because of the length of the material the panel needs to consider.

Brady's bid for a move from Ashworth Hospital has been heard at a mental health tribunal, which adjourned on Thursday.

His lawyers have questioned whether the hospital has "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 hospital in Merseyside that he is not psychotic or insane and should be allowed to serve the rest of his whole life term in prison. Three independent experts called by Brady's legal team have concluded he is not mentally ill but agree he has a severe personality disorder.

Lawyers for Brady contend the 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. "His personality disorder is fixed and effectively static," she said. "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. "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," she said. "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 there was no reason to believe Brady would immediately go on hunger strike in jail. Despite evidence that he regularly eats toast and soup, she said his denial 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.

Eleanor Grey QC, for Ashworth Hospital, said: "We say this has been a long-standing chronic illness with prognostic implications, that the nature of the case of untreated schizophrenia is that it does not vanish. Plainly it must be beyond doubt that Mr Brady holds false and fixed beliefs... beliefs that are on the delusional end of the spectrum." She said there was a real risk to Brady's health if he continued on hunger strike in jail and he could also relapse quickly to the psychotic levels he displayed in the 1980s.


From Belfast Telegraph