The Trial

Crime Files

The Trial

Even arrest and custody didn’t separate the couple. Given the same solicitor, the couple met together and were able to exchange notes.

In these they would detail sick fantasies. In one, they encouraged the throwing of acid onto the face of a grieving relative of one of their victims’. Brady was so deluded by this point that he looked forward to his moment in the public eye.

“Brady regarded the courtroom as something that he could almost preside over. His over confidence and narcissism actually made him think that everyone would believe what he said.”

-Dr David Holmes, Criminal Psychologist

Hindley and Brady were brought to trial at Chester Assizes on 27 April 1966 where they pleaded "not guilty" to all charges. Their tactic was to blame David Smith for everything.When the 13 minute tape of Lesley Downey’s torture and pointless cries for mercy were played in the court, even hardened policemen broke down in tears.When asked his reaction to the anguished cries tape recorded Brady described them as ‘unusual.’

Asked afterwards what happened when they’d finished taking pornographic photos of Lesley, Brady said ‘we’ got dressed. This one slip fatally implicated Hindley.The trial lasted 15 days.


On 6 May 1966, Brady was found guilty of the murders of Lesley Ann Downey, John Kilbride and Edward Evans.Judge Fenton Atkinson imposed three concurrent life sentences on the 28-year-old Brady and described him as ‘wicked beyond belief’. Brady only escaped the death sentence by a few months as the death penalty had only been abolished four weeks before their arrest.

The killer couple were both jailed for life, with a minimum recommended tariff of 30 years. Brady would not be seen in public again for another 46 years.

His and Hindley’s crimes would become the benchmark by which other acts of evil would be judged.