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New search for Moors victim Keith 'to start next week'

A new search for the body of Moors murder victim Keith Bennett will be launched next week, according to the Daily Mirror.

Undated handout file photo of Keith Bennett. Credit: PA

A specialist team will hunt for the remains of the 12-year-old and three other missing children whose bodies were buried by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in the 1960s on Saddleworth Moor.

New research by a consortium of lawyers, former police officers and a High Court judge investigating the Moors murders will be made public in the coming days with "fresh facts" that they hope will lead to finding the bodies, the newspaper reports.

Keith's mother Winnie Johnson made repeated calls for Brady to reveal the location of her son's grave but died in August 2012 without being able to fulfil her last wish of giving her son a proper burial.

Alan Bennett on letter possibly identifying his brothers grave

Alan Bennett, brother of Brady victim Keith, has posted on the website dedicated to the search for Keith Moors grave.

On Alan said:

It is good news that the police have finally been able to search Brady's room and also to make an arrest.

I would say that, until some definite information is found regarding Keith's whereabouts, we do not want to raise our hopes too high at this stage. Nonetheless, it is a very important development.


Lawyer who knew Brady says letter claim has 'credibility'

A solicitor who used to represent Winnie Johnson, Keith Bennett's mother, has described the latest development as "extremely interesting and exciting".

David Kirwan, a managing partner with Kirwans law firm, said he had a series of face-to-face meetings with Ian Brady at Ashworth mental hospital in 2007. He said:

Thereis potential credibility to the claim that Brady may have written such a letter. I believe it is a human instinct not to take secrets to our grave.

I believe Ian Brady knows the exact whereabouts of Keith Bennett's grave and iscapable of directing police to it.

However, it is important to remember who we are dealing with and how he seems to enjoy bizarre mind games and manipulation.

During interviews Brady told me mischievously how when he was on the moors with the police in 1986 he walked them across the graves of his victims.

Ian Brady's mental health advocate Jackie Powell

Ian Brady's mental health advocate Jackie Powell Credit: D Legakis Photography Athena Picture Agency Limited

This photograph shows Jackie Powell, Ian Brady's mental health advocate, who has claimed that Brady gave her a sealed envelope addressed to the mother of one of his victims.

The revelation raised hopes that the envelope may contain the location of Keith Bennett, the only one of Brady's victims whose body has not been found.

Ms Powell says she no longer has the envelope and that her words have been "misrepresented". Greater Manchester Police are investigating.


Lawyer for victim's mother 'not holding his breath'

The lawyer for Winnie Johnson, John Ainley, has said he is not "holding his breath" that recent developments will lead to the location of her son's body.

He told Sky News: "It may be at this late stage that he [Ian Brady] has got some sort of conscience about all of this" but he said that he would be surprised.

Mr Ainley added that Ms Johnson's family is "reassured that the police are investigating" but that he did not think its was advisable to raise her expectations.

No date set for Brady mental health tribunal

It is understood that arrangements need to be put in place to agree on a suitable date for all legal parties in the case.

Brady is challenging his insanity diagnosis which allows doctors at Ashworthmental hospital in Merseyside to force feed him. It is believed he wants to return to the normal prison system where staff would not be allowed to stop him going on hunger strike.

What is the role of Ian Brady's mental health advocate?

Attention is focussing on Ian Brady's mental health advocate, Jackie Powell, who has claimed in a television documentary that he wrote a letter to the mother of one of his victims.

A mental health advocate is not the same as a lawyer. Their role, as defined by the Department for Health, is as follows:

A specialist mental health advocate, who helps qualifying patients understand the legal provisions to which they are subject under the Mental Health Act 1983 (the 1983 Act) and the rights and safeguards to which they are entitled, and helps those patients exercise their rights through supporting participation in decision-making.

Lawyer for victim's mother 'sceptical' about information

Winnie Johnson's lawyer, John Ainley, has said he is "sceptical" about the apparent revelation of a letter from Ian Brady:

I am sceptical about this information. It is clear the police need to carry out further investigations and it will be interesting to see what they find.

– John Ainley, Winnie Johnson's lawyer
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