Security officer 'tried to sell Ian Brady photos for £50,000'

Ian Brady Image copyright PA
Image caption Moors Murderer Ian Brady has been a patient in Ashworth Hospital since 1985

A security officer smuggled a camera into a high-security psychiatric hospital in a bid to sell photos of Moors Murderer Ian Brady for £50,000, a court has heard.

Alan Hagan, 48, is on trial at the Old Bailey over dealings with News of the World reporter Lucy Panton at Merseyside's Ashworth Hospital.

He denies misconduct in public office.

Mr Hagan was allegedly paid £1,000 for a story headlined "Suicide Brady hid pills in his sock" published in 2008.

Sixties mugshot

The jury heard that it happened a month after Mr Hagan, of Galston Close, Liverpool, first made contact with Ms Panton.

The pair went on to hatch a subterfuge nicknamed "The Project" to smuggle in a camera to take pictures and video of Brady, the first since his mugshot was released in 1966.

The court heard that he approached the News of the World because he was "disgruntled" with his employer, believing he had been "badly treated" by management.

Prosecutor Mark Trafford QC said: "His revenge, and his road to seek large sums of money, was to seek to sell pictures to the media."

Brady, 77, who has been a patient at Ashworth since 1985, became notorious for torturing and murdering five children with Myra Hindley, who died in prison in 2002.

Smuggle failed

He was jailed for three murders in 1966. The pair later confessed to another two murders.

In April 2008, an attempt by Hagan to smuggle a camera into the hospital inside a belt failed, the court heard.

Then in August, the court heard, Ms Panton emailed her boss about meeting her Brady contact in Liverpool, telling him: "Meet Friday, it looks like there will be an opportunity to get the project back on."

By October, Hagan had a new piece of kit enabling him to take pictures and video inside the secure hospital.

Although he did manage to smuggle a camera into the hospital to take pictures of Brady the pictures were not good enough quality and they were not published, jurors were told.

The trial continues.

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