Brady’s jail bid denied for his own safety says judge

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Moors Murderer Ian Brady’s bid to be transferred from a Merseyside hospital to jail was rejected for his own health and safety, a judge has ruled.

The 76-year-old was told last year his appeal to be sent to a prison to serve his sentence was to be refused, but yesterday Judge Robert Atherton gave the reasons for the decision in a detailed ruling running to more than 100 pages.

Brady, 76, was told last June that he is to remain a patient at maximum-security Ashworth Hospital on Merseyside after a week-long mental health tribunal hearing.

The child-killer’s £250,000 taxpayer-funded legal bid to be transferred to a jail was the first time he had been seen in public for decades and was criticised by victims’ families as a “circus” and a “complete waste of taxpayers’ money”.

Brady, who murdered five children in the 1960s with his lover Myra Hindley, was jailed for life in 1966.

The decision to reject his appeal was given by Judge Atherton, who chaired the three-man tribunal panel at Ashworth.

At the end of the hearing, the panel said Brady should remain in Ashworth on the grounds that he is insane and hospital staff are best placed to treat his psychosis.

Judge Atherton said in his full ruling: “The tribunal concluded that it has been demonstrated by this evidence that it is necessary in the interests of his own health and safety that he be detained in hospital for treatment and that appropriate treatment is available.

“The tribunal considered that it would be inappropriate to make any recommendation because, in its judgment, it is not appropriate to recommend his discharge.”

The 116-page ruling says Brady’s wishes must be taken into consideration.

“His views are important because he will spend the rest of his life either in a hospital or in prison. There is no possibility of him being discharged into the community. However, the determination of that issue depends substantially upon his mental condition, about which there is an array of opinions amongst the medical practitioners who gave evidence to the tribunal.”

The tribunal said “with the benefit of hindsight” Brady should have been transferred to hospital for treatment before he had served 19 years in various prisons.

The ruling adds: “One must also remember that he is now a 75-year-old man. When he was in prison he was much younger. He is now physically much weaker.

“But his notoriety has not diminished. The inmates of a prison would not be selected as the other patients on the ward are.

“That would create a significant risk to his safety even though the prison officers are acknowledged to have the skills to deal with such issues.”

The tribunal accepted Brady is suffering from “chronic psychotic illness” but there were “differences in eminent medical opinion” demonstrating the complexity of his condition.