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An inquest into the death of Moors Murderer Ian Brady will be held today - with questions over what happens to his body still unanswered.

Sefton coroner Christopher Sumner is set to oversee the hearing, which will examine the circumstances of the 79-year-old’s death, on Thursday.

The inquest will take place just over four months after Brady died at Ashworth hospital, near Maghull, Merseyside.

Brady’s inquest was officially opened on May 16 with a short hearing at Southport town hall.

It emerged Brady, who had been serving his three consecutive life sentences at Ashworth since 1985, died of corpul monale (heart failure) with broncho pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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The health of Brady, who resided in Room 35 of the hospital’s Newland Ward, had deteriorated in the 12 months before his death, and particularly in his final two weeks.

On May 11 a feeding tube was removed from Brady, who had been on “intermittent hunger strike” since 1999.

He had not wanted to be resuscitated in the event of suffering a cardiac arrest.

At the opening of the inquest Mr Sumner had requested that, once Brady’s body had been released, his ashes were not be scattered on Saddleworth Moor - where four of his and Myra Hindley’s five victims were buried.

Mr Sumner said he had a duty to carry out a “full, frank and fearless” investigation and added: “There are some people in England who will wonder why Mr Brady, and now that he has died, why he should have any human rights when he denied human rights to people himself.”

But he concluded that “we abide and live by the rule of law” and adjourned the inquest.

Brady and Myra Hindley , who died in prison in 2002, tortured and murdered five children in the 1960s. Four of the victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor in the hills above Oldham.

They were jailed for life for the killings of John Kilbride, 12, 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, 17.

They went on to admit the murders of Pauline Reade, 16, and 12-year-old Keith Bennett.

Brady has never revealed where he buried the body of Keith Bennett, who vanished in 1964 aged 12.

The truth about Brady's 'hunger strike'

Brady started what he himself termed a ‘hunger strike’ in protest at a change of ward and had to be fed via a ‘nasogastric tube’ although this was largely controlled by Brady, said Dr Thomas.

The tube was ‘often coupled with an acceptance of diet and fluids from selected staff’, the inquest was told.Brady himself believed these staff were feeding him secretly.

Dr Thomas explained: “Mr Brady was of the view that his acceptance of diet from certain staff was covert though this was always accurately recorded by staff on intake charts.

”Over the years clinical teams regularly sought to bring an end to his reported hunger strike, recognising that he was regularly accepting diet and fluids alongside or substituted for his nasogastric’ feed,” said Dr Thomas.

Brady met such attempts with ‘hostility’ and would then ‘commence absolute fluid and food refusal’.

In his last two years Brady did start to accept food and fluids ‘regularly’ but would routinely return to a 48 hour hunger strike before again accepting food.

Brady repeatedly refused to be weighed and told staff he might commit suicide.

He repeatedly asked for a move back to prison but a Mental Health Tribunal in 2013 concluded he had to remain at Ashworth.

Brady had 'deviant sexual disorders... including paedophilia'

Brady’s diagnoses ‘came to the fore in 1985’ alongside a recognition he suffered from a severe personality disorder ‘of prominent narcissistic sub-types’, according to Dr Noir.

“He was also thought to suffer from a number of deviant sexual disorders to include sexual sadism and paedophilia,” he went on.

Brady had been given ‘antipsychotic medication over the years’ which had to be administered against his will ‘on a very small number of occasions during his early admission’.

He refused to engage with psychological assessment or therapy ‘throughout’.

“His 32-year detention at Ashworth was largely marked by hostility, opposition to his care and treatment, allegations of brutality, serial complaints and insistence of interference by the Home Office. He was also subject to intense, often hostile media interest,” he said.

'Disturbed and bizarre behaviour'

During the inquest, the consultant psychiatrist Dr Noir had detailed Brady’s life and treatment.

Brady was admitted to the hospital on November 29, 1985, from HMP Gartree having spent 20 years there and at other jails.

Dr Noir then named Brady’s child victims before going on to describe his mental disorder.

“Mr Brady suffered from paranoid schizophrenia marked by perceptual disturbances, delusional ideation, disorganised thought and speech. There are accounts of disturbed and bizarre behaviour relating to psychosis, to include assaults against his peers,” said Dr Noir.

No mention of Brady's remains

The inquest took about 45 minutes and notably no mention was made at all of what happened to Brady’s remains.
At a previous, preliminary hearing, the coroner had stipulated his ashes could not be scattered on Saddleworth Moor.

Death by natural causes verdict

The coroner ruled Brady received ‘appropriate medical care’ throughout his time as a hospital patient’, adding that Ashworth had ‘satisfied both his physical and medical needs’.

“I thus find there’s no evidence of neglect or self-neglect,” said Mr Sumner.

Concluding, he said Brady was born on January 2, 1938, and died on May 15, 2017, in room 35 of Newman ward at Ashworth Hospital, with the medical cause of death heart failure brought on by severe lung disease.

Mr Sumner formally recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

Coroner says Brady was fed 'full meals at times'

In his closing remarks, the coroner formally refers to Brady as ‘Ian Stewart-Brady’ to which the child killer had changed his name.

He accepted that the medical cause of death was heart failure brought on by severe lung disease.

Mr Sumner went on to say that he was obliged to consider whether ‘neglect or self-neglect’ contributed to the death, adding: Mr Stewart-Brady was said to be on intermittent hunger strike for a number of years,” said the coroner.

He went on: “The evidence shows that Mr Strewart-Brady was fed by a nasal gastric tube. He also took food to supplement that liquid diet from selected staff. And it wasn’t just snacks. It was full meals at times.”

Brady accepted 'full meals' from 'selected staff'

The inquest hears that Brady sometimes did accept food, what were described as ‘full meals’ on occasions from ‘selected staff’.

The coroner has just recorded a verdict of natural causes, ruling out that either neglect by Brady himself in the form of what was described as his intermittent hunger strike or neglect from staff contributed to his death.

In his dying days he had a locked briefcase removed from his room

In his last years Brady had what he described as ‘intractible narcicism’ while there was also evidence of paranoia, according to Dr Thomas.

Brady could be verbally abusive towards staff at the hospital, he said.

In his final days he described a cocktail of drugs with which Brady was being treated.

He was also on ‘long term continuous oxygen’.

As his death drew nearer, the doctor told the inquest that Brady insisted a locked briefcase was removed from his room.

Given anti-psychotic medication 'against his will'

Consultant forensic psychologist Dr Noir Thomas tells the inquest Brady had been at Ashworth for 32 years and had suffered from severe underlying personality disorders for which he received anti-psychotic medication, on occasion administered against his will.

He described Brady’s ‘hostility’ towards hospital staff and his intermittent refusal to accept food or fluids, especially in the last two years of his life.

'He must have been eating something'

He adds that Brady was 61 kilos and did not appear to be emaciated.

He pointed out there were faeces in his bowel and continued: “The assumption was that he must have been eating something.”

Brady also had a body mass index of 20.

“I have seen far worse than that,” said Dr Rodgers.

Lungs were 'totally diseased with very little normal tissue'

Dr Rogers tells the inquest that he found severe lung disease during his post mortem examination.

“The main pathology lay in the lungs which were totally diseased with very little normal tissue remaining.

“And he had a considerably enlarged right ventrical of the heart,” said Dr Rodgers, who added that what he found was consistent with a heavy smoker.”

Brady was serving three consecutive life sentences

Brady was serving three consecutive life sentences when he died in May aged 79.

In 1966, he and partner Myra Hindley were jailed for the killings of John Kilbride, 12, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17.

They went on to admit the murders of Pauline Reade, 16, and Keith Bennett, 12.

Hindley died in jail aged 60 in November 2002.

'No evidence of third party involvement'

Kevin Farrell, the Merseyside Police coroner investigating officer, is the first witness.

The inquest has heard that police found no evidence of third party involvement in Brady’s death.

Senior coroner Christopher Sumner opened by explaining that the inquest is a “fact-finding” exercise.

He is tasked with understanding who died, where they died, how they died and when they died.

20 journalists... and nobody else

About 20 journalists are covering the inquest from the public gallery. Apart from other officials, it doesn’t appear any members of the public have come to watch the proceedings.

Three witnesses will give evidence today

There are three witnesses scheduled to give evidence today: Kevin Farrell, the coroner’s imvestigating officer; Dr Brian Rodgers, consultant Home Office pathologist; Dr Noir Thomas, a consultant forensic psychiatrist.

The inquest is due to begin in the next few minutes