Ian Brady being treated as ‘special case’

Ian Brady: Being treated as 'special case' by Ashworth hospital. Picture: PA
Ian Brady: Being treated as 'special case' by Ashworth hospital. Picture: PA
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MOORS Murderer Ian Brady is being treated as a “special case” by the Merseyside hospital fighting to halt his transfer to prison, his mental health tribunal has heard.

• Ian Brady at an “impasse” with Ashworth hospital who are unable to improve his condition with treatment, tribunal hears

• Brady lawyers contend that modern prison system is now able to cope with child killer’s needs

• Independent experts called by Brady’s legal team argue Moors Murderer is not mentally ill but has severe personality disorder

His barrister questioned whether Ashworth Hospital had “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.

Brady, 75, has told the tribunal panel sitting at the maximum security 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 that he is not mentally ill but agree he has a severe personality disorder.

Lawyers for Brady contend that 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 him 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.

She said some of the evidence from Ashworth to keep Brady detained would not be conceivably submitted if it was another, less notorious, patient.

There had been no recurrence of the psychosis which led to his transfer from jail to Ashworth in 1985, Ms Lieven said.

Despite evidence 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”.

In conclusion, she said Brady’s personality disorder could be properly managed by a prison system now experienced in that field and his lack of mental illness meant it would be “utterly perverse” to treat him any differently from anyone else in similar circumstances.

Eleanor Grey QC, for Ashworth Hospital, said there was “overwhelming evidence” Brady suffers from an anti-social and narcissistic personality disorder but the scale of his paranoia is “grossly in excess” of levels where it could be attributed to mere traits of the same disorder.

“I suggest that the paranoia is a major driver, at least, in his current presentation and continues to be disabling,” she said.

She added that there was a real risk to Brady’s health if he continued on hunger strike in jail and that he could also relapse quickly to the psychotic levels he displayed in the 1980s.

Miss Grey said that Brady failed to answer six times why he wanted to return to prison.

Judge Robert Atherton adjourned the hearing and said the panel hoped to announce its final decision by the “end of the week” via the Judicial Communications Office.

The reasons for the decision would be given at a later date because of the volume of the material the panel needs to consider, he added.

Brady and his partner, Myra Hindley, were convicted of luring children and teenagers to their deaths, with their victims sexually tortured before being buried on Saddleworth Moor.

Pauline Reade, 16, disappeared on her way to a disco on 12 July 1963 and John Kilbride, 12, was snatched in November the same year.

Keith Bennett was taken on 16 June 1964 after he left home to visit his grandmother; Lesley Ann Downey was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964; and Edward Evans, 17, was killed in October 1965.

Brady was given whole-life sentences in 1966 for the murders of John, Lesley Ann and Edward.

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