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Judge orders Ian Brady be cremated without ceremony

By Jan Colley

“Uniquely evil” Ian Brady has been denied his last request for music at his cremation.

The body of the Moors murderer, who died in May aged 79, will be disposed of with “no music and no ceremony”, ruled the Chancellor of the High Court Sir Geoffrey Vos yesterday.

He said it was clear Brady was someone described by law lord Lord Johan Steyn as “uniquely evil” and that there was genuine public anger and distress about what might happen to his remains.

The families of his victims might well be legitimately offended by an insensitive disposal and there was a public interest in ensuring it did not create unrest or disorder, he stated. 

Brady and Myra Hindley, who died in prison in 2002, tortured and murdered five children in the 1960s. Four of the victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor in the south Pennines.

Solicitor Robin Makin, Brady’s executor, has said there was “no likelihood” that Brady’s ashes would be spread on Saddleworth Moor, but has refused to say what he intends to do with them if allowed custody.

The judge, who made it clear that he had no doubt that Mr Makin could be trusted, said the whole matter had “simply gone on far too long”.

He was satisfied that it was “both necessary and expedient” for it to be taken out of Mr Makin’s hands if the body was to be disposed of “quickly, lawfully and decently”.

“The overwhelming factor in this case is the public interest. The deceased’s wishes are relevant, but they do not outweigh the need to avoid justified public indignation and actual unrest.”

An officer of Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council had said she would arrange the disposal of the ashes and the judge was satisfied that was the best proposal available. Sir Geoffrey refused to allow the playing of the fifth movement of Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Dream Of The Night Of The Sabbath, during the cremation.

He said: “I have no difficulty in understanding how legitimate offence would be caused to the families of the deceased’s victims once it became known that this movement had been played at his cremation. I decline to permit it. It was not suggested by Mr Makin that the deceased had requested any other music to be played or any other ceremony to be performed, and in those circumstances, I propose to direct that there be no music and no ceremony.”

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