By Dominic Ponsford
Six years after Robin Ackroyd wrote a Daily Mirror story about Ian Brady, prompting a legal battle that continues to this day, he has again made headlines in the Mirror with revelations about the Moors Murderer.
Freelance Ackroyd’s first story was based on confidential medical records and has prompted Merseycare NHS Trust to spend more than £150,000 on legal proceedings, which are currently being taken to the Court of Appeal, to make Ackroyd reveal his source.
The new piece, which made a front page and inside spread in the Mirror on Tuesday, goes even further in what it says about Brady’s treatment at Ashworth Hospital.
It reveals that he hasn’t eaten a meal since 1999, when he started his current hunger strike, his eyesight is poor and he suffers from the back condition spondylitis.
Ackroyd has maintained contact with Brady for several years and was given full permission to make the latest revelations. Brady believes that Merseycare’s bid to identify Ackroyd’s source is motivated by a desire to prevent allegations of mistreatment at Ashworth.
Ackroyd won a High Court decision in February refusing Merseycare’s demand to see his source, but that is currently being taken to the Court of Appeal.
He said: "It does seem completely ludicrous that I’m still being pursued by Ashworth Hospital over supposed confidentiality when at the same time Brady is quite willing for me to put details of his condition in the public domain.
"Ian Brady has written to me many times, giving much more detail about his medical problems than was published almost seven years ago. At a time when the NHS is in deficit and operations are being cancelled, it is all the more profligate that this action is still being pursued.
"It’s already cost them many hundreds of thousands of pounds and as I have repeatedly said and am almost tired of saying, I simply do not reveal confidential sources of information."