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article imageOp-Ed: Is Ian Brady insane, or are we?

By Alexander Baron     Aug 27, 2011 in Crime
Liverpool - When serial killer Ian Brady was convicted, the crowds bayed for his blood; now he is being kept alive against his will at taxpayers' expense.
Although it is only a drop in the ocean in comparison with the money the government is cutting left, right and centre in order to cap the deficit and bail out their bankster chums, the British taxpayer has wasted and is continuing to waste large sums of money on Ian Brady, both in keeping him alive and now investigating him for common assault.
Brady and his lover Myra Hindley became known as the Moors Murderers. In May 1964, they were convicted at Chester Assizes: Brady of three murders; his more than willing accomplice of two. It is a matter of record that they committed at least two more, and that in spite of her formal acquittal of the murder of John Kilbride, Hindley participated in that too.
There was though a lot more to their crimes than mere murder; Lesley Ann Downey was only ten years old, and had been subjected to psychological if not physical torture shortly before her death. The Moors Murderers had audiotaped her pleading for her life as music from The Little Drummer Boy played in the background. The bodies of both Kilbride and Downey were buried on the Yorkshire Moors. They were found because their graves had been photographed as grim trophies; below, Hindley poses on the grave of John Kilbride.
Holding her dog inside her coat  Myra Hindley poses on the grave of 12 year old John Kilbride; the p...
Holding her dog inside her coat, Myra Hindley poses on the grave of 12 year old John Kilbride; the photograph was taken by her lover and fellow serial killer Ian Brady.
Ian Brady
In an era before televised murder trials, the proceedings against the killer couple provoked outrage such as Casey Anthony could only have dreamed of. Their convictions came literally a few months after capital punishment was outlawed in Britain, in practice if not in theory. Needless to say, many people wished an exception had been made in their case.
With her peroxide blonde hair as emphasised in the classic mugshot, and by dint of her feminine wiles, Hindley was always the most reviled of the two. The fact that she sought constantly to win her release added to this public revulsion. She died unmourned in November 2002.
Although no one ever had any sympathy for Brady, he at least had the common decency to realise both what he is and the enormity of his crimes, and has asked only for death. Most people find that easier to live with.
In 1985, he was declared criminally insane and transferred from a high security prison to one of the so-called special hospitals. In 2001, he published a book The Gates Of Janus, about the psychology of serial killers. Although this met with predictable outrage, it has been suggested that it was the nearest Brady has or could come to showing remorse for and to repay society for his crimes.
Being a convicted serial killer, Brady is fair game for any hack, crank or half-wit to take pot shots at. If the former asylum seeker Roberto Fiore had wished, he could have taken Gerry Gable to the cleaners for branding him both a terrorist and a murderer, or possibly even have had him gaoled for criminal libel; Brady though is libel proof, but in 1994 he was granted Legal Aid to pursue a claim for malicious falsehood (a tort similar to libel; Legal Aid is not available for libel). A woman who had once believed him to be her father visited him and afterwards claimed falsely that he had assaulted her. Brady was allowed to pursue this claim all the way up to the European Court of Human Rights.
Although proponents of the death penalty sometimes give the impression that a life sentence is a soft alternative, not every life sentence prisoner sees it that way. Brady decided many years ago that he wants out, but the legal authorities have decided otherwise, and after he went on hunger strike, he was force fed by order of the court; a judge actually accused him of “playing the system” and of being manipulative as well as mad.
The latest development in the saga of the world’s last surviving Moors Murderer is a police investigation over an allegation of common assault. A female prison nurse has accused him of a minor assault in what might well be a genuine misunderstanding. Instead of dealing with this matter internally, she has made a formal complaint to the police with the support of her union.
The question has to be asked, what is the point? Although Brady is now 73 years old, he will surely never be left unsupervised with a vulnerable female or vulnerable anyone. If he is to be subjected to any sort of investigation or disciplinary inquiry, then this should just as surely be dealt with internally. An inmate who is accused of a serious offence can and should be taken to an outside court as was convicted murderer Rickie Tregaskis who slashed the face of paedophile and child killer Roy Whiting in Wakefield Prison. To mount any sort of police investigation for a summary offence at a time when the police need all their resources to deal with the ongoing riot investigations beggars belief. Furthermore, even if the courts have the jurisdiction to deal with a criminally insane inmate – which is by no means certain – what meaningful punishment can they impose? About the only punishment that could be imposed on Brady is loss of privileges/segregation, and he is far from a gregarious individual, so the former – if he is found guilty at an adjudication – seems to be the only “punishment” he would understand.
Why are we continuing to waste bundles of money and precious time and resources on a man who although criminally insane is both rational enough and intelligent enough to want only to die? Does not keeping him alive against his will for so long constitute cruel and unusual punishment, and if so, are we not as mad as him?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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