Ian Brady: Tribunal 'too traumatic' for victim's mother

Winnie Johnson
Image caption Winnie Johnson's solicitor said she was in hospital and not well enough to attend the tribunal

The mother of Keith Bennett, who was killed by Moors murderer Ian Brady, has said she will not now attend his mental health tribunal on Monday.

The solicitor for Winnie Johnson, 78, said it was too traumatic for her to attend.

The rare public hearing will hear his application to be transferred to a Scottish prison and be allowed to die.

Brady, 74, jailed in 1966 for murdering three children, has been detained at Ashworth Hospital, Maghull, since 1985.

The tribunal will be the second time such a hearing has been held in public and will take place at the hospital and relayed via video link to the civil justice centre in Manchester.

Mrs Johnson's solicitor John Ainley said she was in hospital and not well enough to attend but added: "In any event, it would be too traumatic for her to have any involvement in a hearing that deals with Ian Brady."

In December, Mrs Johnson had said she hoped to come "face-to-face" with Brady at the hearing.

Mr Ainley said the 78-year-old from Longsight, Manchester, was "not in the best of health" and she was not well enough to deal with the pressures - including the media interest - surrounding the tribunal.

He also said: "Winnie has made it perfectly clear over the years that she considers Ian Brady should remain in a mental hospital for the remainder of his natural life and not be transferred to a prison either in England or Scotland.

'Missing body'

"Presumably, the intention would be to go on hunger strike with a view to ending his own life. She does not consider this should be his prerogative."

Mr Ainley added: "She has only one question to ask Ian Brady, that is 'Where is my son Keith?

"Her one and only desire is to give her son a proper family burial during her lifetime."

Image caption Brady has been in Ashworth Hospital for 27 years

Brady and his girlfriend, Myra Hindley, lured children and teenagers to their deaths, with their victims tortured before being buried on Saddleworth Moor, Greater Manchester.

Pauline Reade, 16, disappeared on her way to a dance on 12 July 1963 and John Kilbride, 12, was snatched four months later.

Keith Bennett was abducted on 16 June 1964 after he left home to visit his grandmother.

Lesley Ann Downey, 10, was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964 while Edward Evans, 17, was killed in October 1965.

Brady was jailed for life at Chester Assizes in 1966 for the murders of John, Lesley Ann and Edward, while Hindley was jailed for life for killing Lesley Ann and Edward and shielding Brady after John's murder.

In 1987 the pair finally admitted killing Keith and Pauline.

Both were taken back to Saddleworth Moor in 1987 to help police find the remains of the missing victims but only Pauline's body was found.

Hindley died in jail in November 2002, aged 60.

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