Brady's Hunger Strike
30th September 1999

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Ian Brady was first moved to Ashworth in 1985. Uncharacteristically, the usually unrepentent murderer had expressed his remorse for his crimes shortly after arriving, but he soon reverted to type. After a knife was found taped to the underside of his sink he was moved by force to another ward at the unit.

Enraged by the manner in which he was treated, Brady initiated complaints against both the NHS and police through official channels and on September 30th 1999 began a hunger strike. Ashworth had already at that time been the subject of two enquiries in 1992 and 1998 following controversies around the treatment of inmates and the security under which they were held.

After 30 days, Brady was placed on a gastro-nasal feeding tube and began a regime of forced feeding. In 2000, he sought judicial review for what he saw as a violation of his human right to starve himself to death. The review found that the decision to force feed him was "lawful, rational, and fair." Under the Mental Health Act (1983) treatment against a person's will is allowed even if they are competent, as long as the treatment is for the mental disorder suffered by the person in question.

The Judge felt that Brady was suffering from a severe personality disorder and therefore was not competent to properly judge the risks and benefits of treatment.


Brady continues to argue that he is perfectly rational and still fights through the legal system for his force feeding to be ended and thus his own life to reach its conclusion.

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Author: Ian Freud   |  Last updated: 29th July 2013 | © Weird Island 2010-2019
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