Ian Brady's ashes 'not to be scattered at Saddleworth Moor'

Ian Brady’s body will not be released until assurances are made his ashes will not be scattered on Saddleworth Moor, a coroner has ruled.

Brady, 79, who tortured and killed five children with lover Myra Hindley, buried four of his victims on the moor.

Brady died of obstructive pulmonary disease on Monday, an inquest heard.

Senior coroner Christopher Sumner said he knew he did not have the legal power to make such a request but believed it was the “correct moral judgement”.

Brady, who along with Hindley became known as the Moors Murderers, was jailed in 1966 for the killing of John Kilbride, aged 12, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17.

Ian Brady

In 1985 he also admitted to the murders of Pauline Reade, 16, and Keith Bennett, who was 12, although he was never prosecuted for their deaths.

Born in Glasgow in 1938, Brady later moved to Manchester and died at Ashworth Hospital, a secure psychiatric unit in Merseyside, where he had been detained since 1985.

Opening an inquest at Southport town hall, Mr Sumner told the hearing he had received a request to release the body of Brady, also known as Ian Stewart-Brady.

He said: “I would like an assurance before I do so that first of all the person who asked to take over responsibility for that funeral has a funeral director willing to deal with the funeral and that he has a crematorium willing and able to cremate Mr Stewart-Brady’s body.

“Emotions are high, I have looked at some of the newspaper headlines, they are bound to be.

“I also wanted to have assurance that when Mr Stewart-Brady is cremated his ashes will not be scattered on Saddleworth Moor.

He said it was “a right and proper moral judgment to make” as it would be “offensive” if they were.

Coroner’s officer Alby Howard-Murphy said Brady’s cause of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cor pulmonale, a condition that causes the right side of the heart to fail.

Brady had been on successive hunger strikes since 1999 in a bid to hasten his own death and the inquest heard he had been fed through a nasogastric tube.

His condition deteriorated over the last two weeks and the tube was removed on 11 May, the hearing was told.

Brady had stated he did not wish to be resuscitated if he suffered a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at 18:03 BST on Monday, it emerged.

Mr Howard-Murphy said Brady “retained capacity throughout”.

He added there were no relatives of the serial killer known to the court and his body was identified by the manager of Ashworth Hospital, Michelle Anderton.

Brady’s lawyer Robin Makin, the executor of his will, said he visited him in the hours before his death to discuss his legal wishes and funeral arrangements.

He said: “He was in the last hours of his life so he was pretty weak but we were able to discuss a few things and sort out what he wanted to be done.”

Mr Makin said he did not think Brady had any information which would help the search for Keith Bennett, the only victim of Brady and Hindley whose remains have never been found.

He said: “I don’t think useful information is going to come from him.

“I think that if he had been able to assist in its location it would have happened in the 1980s.”

The coroner asked for a number of measures to be prepared before the next pre-inquest hearing including medical reports from a consultant psychiatrist concerning Brady’s mental health, the attending doctors at time of death, palliative care staff, his medical notes and an expert report regarding feeding through a tube in the nose.

The eight-minute hearing was attended by 12 members of the press.

The inquest was adjourned until 29 June.


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