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Saturday, 9 June, 2001, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
Brady: My fight goes on
Ian Brady in car
The Moors murderer on his way to court in 1966
By the BBC's Peter Gould

Moors murderer Ian Brady has said he will continue his legal fight to be allowed to starve himself to death.

This is despite losing his latest court battle earlier this week, when a High Court judge maintained that he could legally be force-fed.

It is clearly on record from day one of this strike what my expressed aims are...simply allow me to exit

Ian Brady
In a letter to BBC News Online following the hearing, Brady said he was looking forward to his case being decided by "impartial judges" in the European Court of Human Rights.

"The expected High Court decision not to halt Ashworth daily force-feeding me by tube is of no consequence," he writes.

"I wish to make it perfectly clear to all concerned that the fact of my solicitors using the English courts on my behalf does not accurately reflect my personal opinion of English courts and judiciary.

"Unfortunately there is a legal requirement that before one can reach the higher, morally superior European Court of impartial judges, one must first waste time and energy on fruitless application to English courts and politically briefed judges.

"In face of physical defeat there remains spiritual defiance; truth is not halted by force. Increased misery shortens tyranny."

Personality disorder

Brady, 63, is a patient at Ashworth high security hospital on Merseyside.

Ashworth Hospital
Ashworth Hospital says it is acting in the patient's best interest
He has been on hunger strike for more than 600 days, since 30 September 1999.

For most of that time he has been fed liquid food through a plastic tube.

Last year, Brady's lawyers challenged the power of the hospital to feed him against his wishes.

But a High Court judge, Mr Justice Kay, ruled that the killer was suffering from a personality disorder, and doctors were entitled under the 1983 Mental Health Act to feed him forcibly.

And at a new hearing this week a different judge, Mr Justice Jackson, ruled that the position was still the same.

He refused to allow an adjournment to allow new evidence to be obtained.


Brady was jailed for life in 1966 for three murders, and later confessed to another two killings.

He and his accomplice Myra Hindley abducted children off the streets, tortured and killed them, and buried the bodies on the moors near Manchester.

Hindley still hopes to be released. Her lawyers have tried, so far without success, to challenge the power of the home secretary to keep her in prison indefinitely.

Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
Brady and Hindley: Partners in crime
But Brady has told the BBC he knows he will die in captivity. He says he has nothing left to live for, and wants only to be allowed to starve himself to death.

Ashworth Hospital has refused to discuss Brady's treatment, but maintains it is acting in the best interests of its patient.

"I am accused of playing the system," Brady writes.

"Playing the system for what? Another 30 years of storage in a mortuary drawer on drip feed?

"I wish to exit the system entirely after 36 years of worthless storage; a rational and pragmatic decision no impartial observer would fault.

"It is clearly on record from day one of this strike what my expressed aims are: no demands, no requests, no negotiations; simply allow me to exit."

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See also:

05 Jun 01 | UK
Brady denied right to die
10 Mar 00 | UK
Ian Brady: A fight to die
28 Feb 00 | UK
Brady's death wish
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