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Ian Brady to speak at his tribunal

Court artist sketch of Ian Brady at mental health tribunal
Image caption Ian Brady wants to be moved from hospital to prison

Ian Brady is to speak publicly for the first time in almost 50 years, as part of his bid to leave a secure hospital.

The Moors Murderer, who was jailed for life in 1966, is to speak at a tribunal on Tuesday as he bids to be moved from Ashworth Hospital to a normal prison.

The killer wants to prove he is no longer mentally ill so he can move to prison, where he believes he would have more choice about how to end his life.

He has refused to eat since 1999, but co-operates with a tube-feeding regime.

Doctors at the hospital in Merseyside can force-feed Brady under mental health law.

His precise reasons and intentions for wanting to return to prison remain unclear, although it is thought he might try to starve himself to death, thinking that prison governors might be powerless to intervene.

Speaking on Friday, Judge Robert Atherton, chairman of the tribunal, said: "We are going to take Mr Brady's evidence on Tuesday. He will probably be the last witness."

'A win'

Doctors at Ashworth say that the 75-year-old is mentally ill and shows symptoms of hallucinations and delusions.

But he has refused medication and therapy since 2000 and tries to hide his condition from the authorities.

Dr James Collins, the leading doctor responsible for Brady's care at Ashworth, said his patient had "at times" written that he wanted to use a hunger strike to end his life. But he said that the killer's primary motive for seeking to return to prison was to have "a win" over the authorities.

"I think he will see [the tribunal] it as a staging post in a long drawn-out campaign. He will have the opportunity to make the statement he wants to make, whatever that may be, in public and before the audience. At one level he has got half a win already," said Dr Collins.

Dr Caroline Logan, a consultant forensic clinical psychologist, giving evidence for Ashworth, said Brady had a "profound lack of insight" into his own personality and behaviour and his resistance to treatment meant that experts had not been able to "get inside his head".

"I think he is at risk of harming other people," said Dr Logan.

"He's never received any treatment for his deviant sexual interests.

"We can't possibly say 'Aw, he's an old fella now, he won't offend.' We can't take that risk."

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