Moors Murderer Ian Brady dies aged 79

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies

The Moors Murderer Ian Brady has died at a high security psychiatric hospital in Merseyside.

Brady, 79, who tortured and murdered five children along with his partner Myra Hindley, was confirmed to have died by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Hindley died in prison in 2002 at the age of 60.

Greater Manchester Police said they would never close the Moor Murders case and Brady's death "does not change that".

It was not clear what the cause of Brady’s death was but he was reported to be receiving palliative care from nurses around the clock in recent days.

Two private ambulances were seen leaving the grounds of the hospital on Monday night.

A spokesman for the NHS trust said: "We can confirm a 79-year-old patient in long term care at Ashworth High Secure Hospital has died after becoming physically unwell."

Brady and Hindley together sexually tortured and murdered five children and teenagers, aged between ten and 17, in the 1960s.

Four of their victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor near Manchester.

The remains of one victim, 12-year-old Keith Bennett, have never been found despite extensive searches as recently as 2014.

Brady’s death means that his family will probably never find out his final resting place.

Martin Bottomley, head of Greater Manchester Police's Cold Case Review Unit, said their aim remained to find where Keith is buried.

"I do not want to comment on Brady at all," he said. "The thoughts of everyone within Greater Manchester Police are with the families who lost loved ones in the most painful and traumatic way.

"They have lived with the shadow of Brady hanging over them for so long, and have showed incredible dignity in the face of such adversity.

"It is especially saddening for the family of Keith Bennett that his killers did not reveal to police the whereabouts of Keith’s burial site. A week hardly goes by when we do not receive some information which purports to lead us to Keith but ultimately only two people knew where Keith is.

"Whilst we are not actively searching Saddleworth Moors, Greater Manchester Police will never close this case. Brady’s death does not change that."

Brady's lawyer, who saw him just hours before his death, said he believed the killer had no more "meaningful" information which could lead to the discovery of Keith's body.

Robin Makin also indicated that Brady showed no final on his deathbed.

"It's my personal view but I think if Keith Bennett's remains were to be discovered they would have been discovered in the 1980s," Mr Makin told ITV News.

"I do realise the anguish [of the family] but that doesn't mean he would have had any useful information beyond what he'd tried to give in the 1980s."

Mr Makin also described Brady as "seriously ill and quite weak" on his deathbed, but remained "perfectly capable of expressing his views".

Brady in police custody for the murders in 1965. Credit: PA

Terry Kilbride, whose brother John was another of the victims, had appealed to Brady to reveal the location of Keith's body before he died.

He told ITV News it was "going to feel good" to see the murderer gone in an interview on Monday afternoon.

Brady was sentenced to life in 1966 after being convicted of the murders of John Kilbride, aged 12, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17.

He later confessed to the murders of Keith Bennett, 12, and Pauline Reade, 16, together with Hindley.

He has been held at the Ashworth secure psychiatric hospital for 32 years after being transferred there in 1985 to be treated for psychopathy.

Brady had been force-fed for many years after going in hunger strike from 1999 – though a court hearing in 2013 heard that he regularly ate toast and soup.

An artist's impression of Ian Brady at his tribunal hearing in 2013. Credit: PA

The killer had launched a legal bid in 2013 to be transferred out of the prison to a hospital so that he could stop being fed through a tube and be allowed to die if he wishes.

He was turned down at the mental health tribunal on the grounds that he was still insane and needed hospital care.

At another court hearing in February lawyers said he had been bedridden for the last couple of years and it was "fair to say" he was terminally ill, with emphysema among his ailments.

Brady, who had continued his legal challenges into his final months, was reportedly being given constant care in recent days from nurses specialising in terminal cancer, according to The Sun newspaper.

Mr Kilbride had appealed to Brady to finally reveal the location of Keith Bennett's body.

He said the killer had "taunted every one of the families" with his knowledge but he hoped Brady would finally give Keith Bennett's family closure with a full confession.

"What good is going to do taking it with him? He’s not going to get any satisfaction any more out of manipulating the family," he added.