Friday, 26 May 2017

Radio Review: 26 May

The radio host talks to Brady’s lawyer Makin

Written by Louis Barfe
Sometimes, despite the name of your call (Radio 5 live, weekdays, 9am), it’s wisest to dispense with the phone-in. One such occasion was last Tuesday, when Nicky Campbell addressed the death of Moors Murderer Ian Brady.

Two callers got through, but when it became clear it was going to turn into a generic bunfight about the death penalty, Campbell backed away wisely and focused on Louis-Barfe-colour-176interviewing David Kirwan, lawyer for victim Keith Bennett’s mother Winnie Johnson, and Robin Makin, who had the professional misfortune to represent Brady for many years.

In Brady’s case, arguments about the death penalty were inoperative. He wanted to die. Kirwan said he regretted missing hanging by a year. He was kept alive in the hope that he would lead police to Bennett’s grave. That remaining alive was the worst possible punishment for Brady was merely a fringe benefit.

Kirwan remained convinced that Brady knew where Bennett was buried and took the secret to his death. He is also convinced that Myra Hindley never told the full truth of her involvement with the murders.

Remembering when Brady went back to Saddleworth Moor, Kirwan said: ‘I thought he took delight in the power that he had over the police and that convinced me that he knew where he was.’

Makin thought the police and Bennett’s family were ‘indulging’ in ‘wishful thinking’ and that Brady could no longer remember. Makin represented Brady even in death, but the things he didn’t say implied his task was a thankless one. Campbell asked if Kirwan could have done Makin’s job. Kirwan replied that if he’d been called to do so, he could have. Makin deserves sympathy. Even the truly evil are entitled to a lawyer. This was powerful, serious radio, and Campbell does it so well.

Louis on Twitter: @AlanKelloggs or email: 

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