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As well as being a freelance writer I am also a qualified counsellor and I work for a low cost counselling service in Exeter and for the NHS Gender Clinic also in Exeter.

Simultaneously, I work as a Disability Member of the First Tier Tribunal, Social Entitlement Chamber sitting on disability benefit tribunals on an ad hoc basis.

As a writer I specialise in writing about disability and health.

My articles have been published in the Guardian, Times, OUCH! [BBC disability website], Disability Now, Broadcast, Lifestyle [Motability magazine], The Practising Midwife, 'Junior, Pregnancy & Baby', Writers' News, Able, Getting There [Transport for London magazine], Junior, Community Care, DPPi [Disability, Pregnancy & Parenthood International]. I have also had articles commissioned by Daily Mail.

For more information about me and for examples of my writing please see below.

If you would like me to write an article for your publication, about any aspect of disability, please do get in touch:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ian Brady - time to let go?

The case of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady has lingered in the public domain for decades.  Their hideous crimes, murdering five children in the 60s, are hard to forget and impossible to forgive.

Myra Hindley died in jail in 2002 when she was 60.

Brady, now 74, was jailed in 1966 and detained at Ashworth Hospital, a high security psychiatric hospital, since 1985.  He has been on successive  hunger strikes since 1999 in attempt to kill himself and has been tube fed for the last 12 years as he refuses food.  He now wants to be transferred to prison and be allowed to die. 

Having just had a seizure it's possible that Brady is 'on his way out' but if he recovers from his current health predicament should he be transferred and be allowed to die?  Has he served his time or is there no such thing as serving your time when you have done such appalling crimes?  How much is our feeling about this case complicated by the intensity of its media profile and does that affect our judgement of it in a way that it doesn't with cases that have received less attention?

What's always fascinated me is the balance between 'mad', 'bad' and 'dangerous' - where does Brady fall within this balance and does this affect anything?  Probably.

I can't help wondering whether he should be granted his wish provided he puts the mother of Keith Bennett, one of the children he murdered, out of her misery and tell her where he buried his body.  At least that would bring her closure after all these years.  Is there any part of Brady that is humane enough to do that for her if he does know/still remember? 

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