Judge says Brady too ill for tribunal hearingHelen CarterGuardian
The Moors murderer Ian Brady is too ill to attend a mental health tribunal hearing on his legal move to be declared sane and transferred to a prison, it emerged yesterday. The hearing was adjourned to an unspecified date by Judge Robert Atherton, who was due to preside over the tribunal on Monday.
He said Brady's poor health ruled out a short postponement. The 74-year-old killer recently spent two nights in an NHS hospital on Merseyside. Brady has been detained at Ashworth high-security psychiatric hospital since 1985. He began a hunger strike in 1999 and has been force-fed. A transfer to prison would mean he could starve himself to death.
The judge said in a statement: "The tribunal accepted that Mr Brady's medical condition, though not life threatening, is such as to preclude his attendance and proper participation in the hearing.
"The tribunal are acutely aware of the public interest in this case being resolved as soon as possible and of the extensive arrangements which have been made to facilitate its hearing. But, in the circumstances, the tribunal had to conclude that the forthcoming hearing must be adjourned to a date to be fixed when the commitments of those involved have been ascertained because of Mr Brady's present physical condition."
Brady suffered a seizure last Monday while speaking on the phone to his solicitor, Richard Nelson. He was transferred to a nearby NHS hospital.
Brady has not been seen in public since 1966 when he was convicted with Myra Hindley at Chester assizes of murdering five children, whose bodies were concealed on Saddleworth Moor, Greater Manchester.