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Right to die: Moors murderer Brady in court for right to die

Infamous Moors murderer Ian Brady has appeared in court for the first time in many years to hear whether his mental health would support a move to a prison in Scotland, reports the BBC.

Brady, 75, was convicted in May 1966, along with his accomplice Myra Hindley, of the murders of five children aged between 10 and 17. The case gained huge national publicity, making them two of the most notorious murderers in English criminal history.

The murders were dubbed the 'Moors murders' because two of the bodies were discovered in shallow graves on Saddleworth Moor near Manchester. Only three bodies were initially found and it was a further 20 years before the pair admitted to killing two other children.

All the killings had a sexual and violent motive, with Brady telling Hindley he planned to commit his 'perfect murder' before sexually assaulting and murdering their first victim, 16-year-old Pauline Reade, on Saddleworth Moor in 1963.

The pair were sentenced to life. Hindley died in prison in 2002 age 60. Brady spent the first 19 years of his sentence in prison before being diagnosed with a psychopathic personality disorder. He has subsequently spent the past 28 years at Ashworth Psychiatric Hospital.

He went on hunger strike in 2000 but under the terms of his detention under the Mental Health Act he is deemed not to have the capacity to determine his own life and was therefore force fed.

Brady is appearing in court this week by video link to claim that his psychotic episodes and personality disorder were the result of fakery and to ask that his detention under the Mental Health Act be ceased so that he can be moved to a prison in Scotland, where he would not be forced to eat against his will.

Psychiatrists giving evidence to the court said they believed that Brady could have faked his psychotic symptoms, which they noted were always below the threshold of requiring compulsory treatment.

Dr Adrian Grounds told the court he believed Brady was suffering from a severe personality disorder that he classifies as 'paranoid narcissistic'. Ashworth Hospital believes that Brady has schizophrenia and points to a lifetime of psychiatric assessments that support this view.

Another doctor, Dr Cameron Boyd, quoted how Brady viewed his murderous actions.

"He said it was an existential exercise, personal philosophy and interpretation and in some way his behaviour was petty compared to politicians and soldiers in relation to wars," the doctor quoted.

The hearing will last eight days.

Source:

Moors Murderer Ian Brady at mental health tribunal (BBC News)