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Last Updated: Friday, 19 December, 2003, 11:51 GMT
Killer loses manuscript battle
Serial killer Dennis Nilsen in 1983
Nilsen had his manuscript intercepted in 2001
Serial killer Dennis Nilsen has failed in his High Court bid to be allowed to finish his autobiography and get it published.

Nilsen lost his legal battle to try to retrieve his manuscript from prison authorities on Friday.

The partially-completed work was intercepted by staff at Full Sutton Prison, near York in 2001.

They refused to return the book, entitled Nilsen: History of a Drowning Man, unless they could make sure it contained nothing objectionable under a Prison Service law on prisoner communications.

Nilsen, who admitted murdering 15 young men, had claimed the rule had been unreasonably applied in his particular case.

His QC, Alison Foster, accused the home secretary and the prison's governor of breaching her client's human rights by refusing to return it.

At a recent hearing she had argued that the case had implications for other prisoners in a similar position.

I am unimpressed by the suggestion that anyone can choose not to read whatever may be published
Mr Justice Maurice Kay
But Mr Justice Maurice Kay rejected Nilsen's judicial review at Friday's hearing in London.

The judge said that the secretary of state was "entitled to have regard to the likely effect of publication on members of the public, including survivors and the families of victims of Mr Nilsen's serial offences".

He added: "I am unimpressed by the suggestion that anyone can choose not to read whatever may be published."

Nilsen, 57, admitted killing the men at his north London home and was jailed for life in 1983.

He was sentenced with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 25 years for six counts of murder and two of attempted murder.

He was later made the subject of a "whole life" tariff.

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