Hindley did not want rescusitation

PUBLISHED: 07:08 24 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

CHILD killer Myra Hindley begged doctors not to save her life if she had a heart attack as she lay on her deathbed, an inquest heard yesterday.

Hindley insisted she did not want any attempts made to resuscitate her or move her into intensive care if she collapsed.


CHILD killer Myra Hindley begged doctors not to save her life if she had a heart attack as she lay on her deathbed, an inquest heard yesterday.

Hindley insisted she did not want any attempts made to resuscitate her or move her into intensive care if she collapsed.

But the Moors murderess still wanted doctors to give her drugs to ease her pain in the days before her death at the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds.

Heavy smoker Hindley, 60, was taking a cocktail of 24 different daily drugs for a range of ailments in the months before she died, the hearing was told.

The NHS provided her with at least 42 tablets and capsules a day including eight paracetamol tablets for pain relief.

The other drugs were treatment for osteoporisis, insomnia, angina, hypertension, depression, menopausal symptoms, raised cholesterol, back pain, arthritis and headaches and an irritable bowel.

Hindley also puffed on four different types of inhalers ten times a day to treat her asthma and bronchitis at Highpoint Prison in Stradishall near Haverhill.

The inquest jury of three men and eight women returned a verdict that she died of "natural causes" on November 15 last year in Room J of the hospital's G2 ward.

An earlier hearing was told how a post mortem had revealed that she had died of bronchial pneumonia as a result of her heart being weakened by hypertension and heart disease.

Dr Clare Laroche told how Hindley was admitted to the hospital on November 12 under the false name Christine Charlton after she had been suffering from shortness of breath for two weeks and a cold for the previous ten days.

She was in pain, having been unable to sleep for the "previous few nights" and was unable to speak more than five words at a time.

Hindley was given intravenous steroid and anti-biotic treatment to combat the chronic lung disease she was suffering from.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Evelyn Lee then asked her what kind of treatment she wanted to receive.

Dr Laroche, a consultant respiratory physician, told the hearing: "Dr Lee discussed with her whether she would wish to be resuscitated in the event of cardiac or respiratory failure.

"She expressed the wish for her to receive all active treatment - but not intensive care or resuscitation. A 'do not resuscitate' order was signed by Dr Lee."

Dr Laroche said she saw Hindley again the following day when she was "very distressed".

with an audible wheeze in her chest - despite being on maximum medication.

The doctor increased her level of drug treatment and gave her more steroids. Then on her third day in hospital - November 14 - she started giving her morphine to ease her pain.

Dr Laroche said she was woken at 4.55 am on November 15 when a nurse rang her to say that Hindley "had become distressed and was refusing to keep an oxygen mask" on her face.

She authorised the mask to be removed and Hindley was "peaceful" as she was given the last rites at around 6am.

"During the day her condition gradually deteriorated and she passed away peacefully at 4.55pm. I certified her dead at 4.58pm," she told the hearing at Highpoint Prison.

Dr Laroche agreed that Hindley's heavy smoking had "much to do" with her health problems.

At the end of the two hour hearing, Greater Suffolk Coroner Peter Dean referred to the Moors murders and asked every one in the court room to join him standing in silence "for a quiet moment's reflection to the victims, the families and all those who have lost loved ones in such circumstances."

Hindley and her former lover Ian Brady were jailed for life in May 1966 for the murders of Lesley Ann Downey, ten, and Edward Evans, 17, who were buried in unmarked graves on Saddleworth Moor, Lancashire.

Brady, 64, who was also convicted of murdering John Kilbride, 12, is being held in Liverpool's high security Ashworth Hospital.

In 1987 the pair also confessed to killing Pauline Reade, 16, and 12-year-old Keith Bennett.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times

A Suffolk safari organiser is back on the trail after lockdown. Philip Charles returned from six years working as a bear guide and researcher in British Columbia in Canada to set up Spirit of Suffolk in his home county. But the newly-formed business took a temporary hit when the coronavirus crisis struck. As well as safaris, Phil also runs photography workshops, and produces prints and home-made short books. He is a lecturer at Suffolk New College, teaching wildlife and conservation-based modules on the Suffolk Rural campus in Otley. Through his business, he aims to build a conservation-based economy connecting visitors with Suffolk’s stunning countryside both digitally and physically through safaris and lectures. “I spend most of my time on safari in farmland habitat on the Shotley and Deben peninsulas,” he says. “This guiding season for Spirit of Suffolk started early March and I had several safari bookings as well as two photography workshops planned throughout March and April.” Philip was just one safari into the season – with one urban fox tour under his belt – with the business really taking off when lockdown measures were introduced on March 23, which meant he had to ditch his planned events. Lockdown hit him hard on a personal level too, he admits. “I always thought I would be able to head out to the countryside still, alone, and with caution. But as lockdown measures were introduced I realised this was not to be the case. “On a personal level this was deeply troubling as time spent in nature forms who I am as a person in both actions and spirit. “From a business perspective initially it felt shattering as I could not operate any of the core elements of the business, and to have started the season so spectacularly well with an amazing first safari and superb urban fox tour I really felt bad for the guests that had trips booked and were now not able to take them. “As a wildlife photographer but living in central Ipswich I also felt limited in what I could do photography-wise.” But he picked himself up and started working on his website and social media strategies. It was a “joy” to provide a vital connection with nature to people stuck at home, he said. “Early on in the lockdown I started a project called ‘On the Doorstep’ in which I would spend a little time each day stood on my doorstep and photograph the comings and goings of people.” The project now forms part of a cultural snapshot of Ipswich in 2020 collated by Suffolk Archives. He also used the downtime to create short books. The two titles – Suffolk Wildlife - A Photo Journey, and Spirit Bear - A True Story of Isolation and Survival – have been “very popular”, selling both in the UK and abroad. They even received an accolade from veteran environmentalist and wildlife broadcaster Sir David Attenborough who described them as “delightful”. He has two more planned – the first of which is Bears and Hares, which is set to be followed by a collection of photo stories from the doorstep project. As lockdown eased in early August he was able to resume his safaris, initially on a two-week trial basis. The pilot proved very successful and as a result he was able to begin booking events again. “Although we are nearing the quieter season I continue to take people out who are keen on enjoying the beauty of Suffolk and its wonderful wildlife and I am personally excited for the beauty and joys of autumn,” he says. “People often purchase the safaris as a gift for someone else and this continues to be popular, as a birthday present or Christmas present that can be redeemed at any point in the future.” From October, he is also planning to resume his one-day photography workshops. “I have always loved showing people the wonders of nature, whether that be a grizzly, a barn owl, killer whales or an urban fox. I think the lockdown period offered a different appreciation for the things around us and I am ever so excited to be with people again and to be showing them all the wonderful wildlife of my favourite spots in Suffolk.” He has had to adapt the tours to ensure safety, but the changes are subtle and don’t detract from the main goal - which is seeing nature, he says. “I now encourage the guest to bring along their own drink and snacks and to also bring their own pair of binoculars. We do wear face coverings while in the vehicle and with the windows open to ensure ventilation. Such changes have been well received by the safari guests and we continue to have some great wildlife viewing.” He’ll be “forever grateful” to his customers and guests for their support and understanding during the pandemic. “Recovery all depends on the current status of local restrictions and the virus itself. I am hoping that a vaccine can be in place as soon as possible. As a fledgling business I have felt a hit, although the sales of short books has helped.” But he remains “positive and optimistic”, he says. “The only way is up,” he says. His hope is that Spirit of Suffolk will become a well-known brand. “I have long term goals of buying woodland for conservation and wildlife viewing and also establishing a small lodge where I can accommodate guests for taking multi-day safaris and tours. “For now I am happy to take things slowly and cautiously, testing the waters in certain areas as I continue to grow the brand and products that I provide. “It is exciting. I am so deeply passionate about what I do that I know it will continue to be a success.” Suffolk’s wildlife in spotlight as safaris get back on track