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Brady shuns other patients at Ashworth

Court sketch of Ian Brady Photo: ITV

Moors murderer Ian Brady only comes out of his room at night and shuns contact with others believing them beneath him - but also fears them, a mental health tribunal heard today. The 75-year-old has brought the tribunal because he wants to be judged sane in a bid to be transferred from maximum security Ashworth Hospital on Merseyside, where he is being force fed, to a normal prison where he believes he will be free to die.

Today the hearing, held in a room inside Ashworth and relayed by video to Manchester Civil Justice Centre, was given details of Brady's daily life inside the secure hospital and features of his behaviour. The tribunal heard evidence he feared others and habitually carried a pen between his knuckles as an improvised weapon for protection - until his pen was taken away.

As well as his "nocturnal" existence, Brady is described as contemptuous of his peers, shows anger that can erupt over minor matters and unleashes verbal tirades against staff and other patients. He also targets specific individuals, both staff and patients, attempts to manipulate others, bypass security and bend the rules of the hospital to suit himself. And he will only deal with people "high up" the hospital hierarchy - consistent with his narcissistic personality disorder, the tribunal heard.

The infamous child killer, who has been on hunger strike since 1999, claims he has faked psychotic episodes by "acting" in the past.

Eleanor Grey QC, on the second day of the hearing, continued to cross-examine criminologist and forensic psychologist Dr Adrian Grounds, called by Brady's legal team to support his case. Miss Grey, acting for Ashworth, which opposes the transfer of Brady, said: "He's also fearful that he will be jumped or attacked by other patients."

Dr Grounds replied: "That's been noted form time to time. He does not come across as a man who is afraid of others."

Brady and partner Myra Hindley were responsible for the murders of five youngsters in the 1960s.

Brady and Hindley lured children and teenagers to their deaths, with the victims sexually tortured before being buried on Saddleworth Moor above Manchester.

Both were jailed for life at Chester Assizes in 1966. Hindley died in jail in November 2002 at the age of 60.

Continuing the hearing, Miss Grey said of Brady: "He is extremely socially withdrawn or isolated, at least since the withdrawal of his pen. He's got a nocturnal existence really, only coming out at night time when other patients are not there.

"At present he's currently sleeping under the covers but with his clothes on.

"His room is habitually disorganised and not looked after by him."

Dr Grounds said he would not put any weight on such evidence and in his opinion did not support the conclusion that Brady is mentally ill.

He added: "The hospital's view is that this is a clear case of paranoid schizophrenia. I don't think it's that clear. I fully accept in the '80s he had features of schizophrenia - what clinicians would call schizophrenic forms - but as time has gone on it's not taken the typical course of paranoid schizophrenia."

In extracts from hospital records, the tribunal heard that Brady habitually gets up in the early morning to make himself a cup of coffee, apparently when few other patients are about.

The hospital record from January 29 this year stated: "Now almost totally isolated himself during the daytime, sleeping more in the daytime, less at night."

Brady has also being observed talking to himself in his room which he claimed was to "exercise his vocal chords".

Dr Grounds maintained that the evidence is insufficient to support the conclusion that Brady is mentally ill and needs to be treated in hospital rather than be in prison.

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