Margaret Thatcher stepped in to ensure that Moors murderers Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were never released from prison, new Downing Street papers have revealed.
Thatcher defiantly told then home secretary Leon Brittan in 1985 that his proposed minimum sentences of 40 years for Brady and 30 years for Hindley were not long enough.
“I do not think that either of these prisoners should ever be released from custody. Their crime was the most hideous and cruel in modern times”, she wrote in response to Brittan’s proposal.
It came when Brittan began the first parole reviews of their potential release – after they had been behind bars for 19 years.
In the letter, which was released by the National Archives today, he told Thatcher: ’At present I have in mind a tariff of 30 years for Hindley and 40 years for Brady, implying that after 1992 and 2002 respectively the question of release (in 1995 and 2005 at the earliest) will be determined on risk grounds rather than on grounds of retribution and deterrence.’
In November 1985, Brady was diagnosed as a psychopath and transferred to Park Hospital, which was renamed Ashworth Hospital, where he remained until his death in May this year.
Hindley, meanwhile, remained behind bars at Highpoint Prison in Suffolk, until her death in May 2002.
Her death came only 10 days before the House of Lords ruled that judges, not politicians, should have the final say on how long convicted criminals should remain in prison.