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Security guard jailed over killer Ian Brady photographs

By Emily Pennink

A security officer has been jailed for 20 months for smuggling a camera into a high-security psychiatric hospital in an attempt to sell photos of notorious serial killer Ian Brady to the News of the World.

Alan Hagan (48) was on trial over his dealings with crime reporter Lucy Panton in 2008 while he worked at Ashworth Hospital in Merseyside.

He denied wrongdoing, but an Old Bailey jury found Hagan, of Galston Close, Liverpool, guilty of misconduct in a public office. Judge Mark Lucraft QC said only custody was appropriate for the "serious breaches".

He said: "At Ashworth, where staff deal with some of the most vulnerable and dangerous people, the confidentiality of patients should be safeguarded.

"Ian Brady took against staff and became uncommunicative when he thought information was being leaked to the paper."

The court heard Hagan was paid £1,000 for a story headlined 'Suicide Brady hid pills in his sock' in February 2008, a month after he first made contact with Ms Panton.

They went on to hatch a plan nicknamed "The Project" to smuggle in a camera to take pictures and video of the ageing Moors Murderer - the first since his mugshot was released in 1966. The court heard Hagan discussed payment of £50,000 for the shots.

Even though he did smuggle a camera into Ashworth, the pictures were not good enough quality and were not published.

The court heard how Hagan, who was on a salary of £13,000, wrote on a "wish board" at home that he would get an "abundance of money" from the NotW.

But in his defence he said he was not motivated by the money and only wanted to expose the way he believed Brady was being treated, putting him under pressure to divulge where one of his victims, Keith Bennett, was buried.

Belfast Telegraph


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