No way out
Hindley and Brady were given the same solicitor. This meant they could meet before their trial. They used the opportunity to exchange coded messages. These weren’t just about their love for each other. They detailed the joy the murders had brought them. The secret messages expanded on their desires to harm children.By the time their trial began on 19 April 1966, the killer couple were worldwide news.Hindley’s defence, agreed with Brady, was that she had been bullied into the abductions by him and that she had not carried out any of the murders. She would stick to this story till the day he died.
Hindley and Brady were brought to trial at Chester Assizes on 27 April 1966, where they pleaded "not guilty" to all charges. Media interest was intense, and the pair’s failure to show any remorse served to make public revulsion even greater.The 13 minute tape of Lesley Downey’s torture with Hindley’s voice clearly audible seems incontrovertible. It was so upsetting that many broke down in tears.Hindley looked unmoved.Terence Downey, the dead girl’s father and Patrick Downey, her uncle, attacked the cars that brought the pair to court. The car attacked was in fact a decoy. Brady had already been smuggled out of court.The prosecution rested on David Smith and Maureen, Hindley’s pregnant sister.
here was evidence produced that Brady had subjected Hindley to threats and violence in order to fulfil his desires.On 6 May 1966, Hindley was found guilty of the murders of Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, and also for harbouring Brady, in the knowledge that he had killed John Kilbride. She was found not guilty of the killing of John Kilbride.The 23-year-old Hindley was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences.At the time of the sentencing, the burial sites of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett were still undiscovered.Hindley would take the location of the last resting place of Keith Bennett to her grave.
“Though I believe Brady is wicked beyond belief without hope of redemption. I cannot feel that the same is necessarily true of Hindley once she is removed from his influence.”- Post trial comments by the judge that sentenced the pair
The death penalty had been abolished just before Hindley’s arrest. Over the following decades of prison, Hindley would come to wish that she had been sentenced to hang.