Moors murderer Ian Brady insists he is not psychotic

Ian Brady has been giving evidence at his mental health tribunal. Photo: ITV News/Priscilla Coleman

Moors murderer Ian Brady has spoken publicly for the first time in almost 50 years while giving evidence at his mental health tribunal.

Brady, who wants to be transferred from hospital in Merseyside to a prison, told the hearing he is not "psychotic" and said he was a "petty criminal" in comparison to "global serial killers" George Bush and Tony Blair.

I'm as pragmatic as a soldier or a politician. You don't see any regret from Tony Blair, in fact he's making a fortune from his war crimes...I'm a comparative petty criminal to global serial killers like Blair and Bush.

– Ian Brady

ITV News' Martin Geissler reports:

Brady was speaking in public at length for the first time since he was jailed for life in 1966 as he gave evidence to the tribunal at Ashworth Hospital in Merseyside, where he has been held since 1985.

Wearing a dark suit, white shirt and tie and dark glasses, his answers were often unfocused and full of digressions.

In cross-examination, the 75-year-old was asked if he remained on hunger strike after earlier evidence suggested he had been eating on top of his feeding tube.

Eleanor Grey QC: We have heard evidence as to the extent you actually eat at present.

Brady: I do what?

Miss Grey: You eat, as well as the naso-gastric tube.

Brady: According to who? The same member of staff who I've just referred to as regressive, provocative. I have been on this 14 years. I mean it's trivia, the trivia these people use.

Miss Grey: Mr Brady, what are you eating at the moment?

Brady: I'm not eating anything.

Ian Brady's feeding tube could be seen as he gave evidence at his own mental health tribunal. Credit: ITV News/Priscilla Coleman

Brady also reserved scorn for the media and its continued interest in him.

"Why are they still talking about Jack the Ripper, after a century? Because of the dramatic background, the fog, cobbled streets.

"Mine's the same... Wuthering Heights, Hound Of The Baskervilles."

Brady said he had "more freedom" in prison - he spent time in Durham, Parkhurst and Wormwood Scrubs.

He remembered mixing with the Kray twins, the Great Train Robbers and various terrorists.He laughed as he recalled how the above was recounted in the book Hard Bastards, written by Ronnie Kray's wife, Kate.

During his evidence, he also alluded to his time as a barber at Wormwood Scrubs in the 1970s when he said he would trim the beards of prison staff and also recalled setting up a Braille unit.

Notorious gangsters Ronnie (left) and Reggie Kray. Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Brady's legal team say he has a severe narcissistic personality disorder but is not mentally ill and could be treated in prison rather than hospital.

But officials at Ashworth argue that Brady is still chronically mentally ill and remains a paranoid schizophrenic who needs round-the-clock care.

Brady has previously claimed that he wants to starve himself in jail where he cannot be force-fed and also claims to be on hunger strike although the tribunal heard yesterday that he makes himself toast.

Ian Brady has been giving evidence at his mental health tribunal. Credit: ITV News/Priscilla Coleman

Brady and his partner, Myra Hindley, were convicted of luring children and teenagers to their deaths. Their victims were sexually tortured before being buried on Saddleworth Moor.

Pauline Reade, 16, disappeared on her way to a disco on July 12 1963 and John Kilbride, 12, was snatched in November the same year. Keith Bennett was taken on June 16 1964 after he left home to visit his grandmother; Lesley Ann Downey, 10, was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964; and Edward Evans, 17, was killed in October 1965.

Brady was given whole life sentences for the murders of John, Lesley Ann and Edward.

Hindley was convicted of killing Lesley Ann and Edward and shielding Brady after John's murder, and jailed for life.

Both later confessed to the murders of Pauline - whose body was found in 1987 - and Keith, whose body has not been discovered.

Hindley died in hospital, still a prisoner, in November 2002 at the age of 60.