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Brady: Let me prove I'm sane so I can kill myself; Moors murderer wants public hearing.

Byline: Suzanne Elsworth

MOORS murderer Ian Brady is demanding a public hearing before a mental health tribunal in an attempt to show he is no longer insane. The killer has been on hunger strike at Merseyside's Ashworth Hospital for three years, but if experts agree he is not mentally ill, doctors will no longer be able to force feed him.

He could then be transferred to a prison and he would be able to fulfil his aim of starving to death.

Brady, 64, made his feelings public in a letter to a Liverpool news agency. It said: ``For the first time in 18 years at Ashworth, I applied for a public Mental Health Review Tribunal. Ashworth adminis again . . . opposing public or media scrutiny of tribunal proceedings and accountability.'' Each patient held in Britain's mental hospitals is entitled to a MHR tribunal once a year but the hearing is usually in private.

Hospital officials are known to be concerned about the huge level of media attention which would surround a public review tribunal and have indicated holding such a hearing at the hospital would involve unacceptable security risks. One compromise would be a public tribunal staged at Liverpool's Queen Elizabeth II Courts.

An Ashworth Hospital spokeswoman said: ``We treat patients in conditions of high security and take steps to ensure the smooth running of the hospital is not jeopardised. ``Increased public and press interest in any of the patients can have a very destabilising effect on individual patients and groups, which, in turn, can threaten the safety and security of patients and staff. ``All patients are entitled to an annual Mental Heath Review Tribunal and are able to request a public hearing, but the safety and security issues described have to be weighed in the balance.'' Doctors inserted Brady's nasal feeding tube on October 30, 1999, and he is kept alive by a nutritious liquid fed into his stomach.

Brady and his accomplice, Myra Hindley, murdered five children in Manchester in the early 1960s.

He was held in maximum security prisons before being transferred to the high-security mental hospital in 1985.

He later sought a legal ruling to prevent doctors force feeding him but a High Court judge ruled that Brady was incapable of making a reasoned decision because his judgment is impaired by mental illness.

CAPTION(S):

Q HUNGER STRIKE: Ian Brady has been at Ashworth since 1985
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 23, 2003
Words:398
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