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Tuesday, September 14, 1999 Published at 14:11 GMT 15:11 UK


Ailing Hindley's plea to freedom campaigner

Hindley: Warned to stop smoking

Child-killer Myra Hindley has asked her supporter Lord Longford to visit her in prison, after reportedly being warned she could die soon if she continues to smoke.

The peer, who says Hindley has paid her debt to society, said she called his home after being told she had contracted angina after years of heavy smoking.

He told BBC News Online: "I was sorry to hear that she is not well, but I have been been told by the prison that there is no cause for alarm."

Sadistic murders

He hoped to visit Hindley at Highpoint Prison in Suffolk "in the next few days".

Fifty-seven-year-old Hindley - jailed for life in 1966 for taking part in sadistic child murders - has been warned by doctors that she could die if she carries on smoking heavily, according to prison sources.

The Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday that a doctor who examined Hindley at Highpoint found her heart condition so advanced it could kill her at any time.

'At risk'

The Prison Service declined to comment on the report, but a prison source said: "Hindley is suffering from angina and she also is a very heavy smoker.

"She has been told on numerous occasions that if she's suffering from angina and smokes as heavily as she does, then she's bound to be putting herself at risk."

They said Hindley had chest pains last week and a doctor was called to see her.

[ image: The case still arouses public anger]
The case still arouses public anger
Last November, Hindley lost an appeal against a government decision that she must spend the rest of her life in jail.

The Court of Appeal dismissed arguments by her lawyers that she was acting under the influence of her lover and accomplice, Ian Brady, when she took part in the child murders.

It ruled that successive home secretaries were acting lawfully when they imposed a "full-life tariff" on Hindley.

Victims' screams

The "Moors Murders" of children Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans were the culmination of a series of killings Brady and Hindley carried out together.

Hindley was convicted along with Brady,for the murders of Lesley Ann, 10, and Edward, 17.

Brady was additionally convicted for life for murdering 12-year-old John Kilbride.

[ image: Ian Brady: Accomplice]
Ian Brady: Accomplice
Both later confessed to the further killings of Pauline Reade, 16, and Keith Bennett, 12, burying their bodies on Saddleworth Moor on the edge of the Peak District.

Hindley and Brady recorded their victims' cries as they tortured and killed them.

Hindley's supporters say she has shown remorse and has become a "good woman" in her many years in prison.

Lord Longford said: "It is quite disgraceful that she should be kept in prison. She has been in prison for 30 years and she has been a good Catholic."

But the families of her victims have campaigned against her release and the recollection of her crimes still causes public revulsion in the UK.

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