Moors murderer Ian Brady has said the media and public are "obsessed" with his crimes, which he likened to those of Jack the Ripper.

Speaking in public for the first time in 47 years, Brady was giving evidence at a mental health tribunal in a bid to be declared mentally well enough to be transferred from a high-security hospital to jail.

It is believed Brady, 75, wants to be moved to a Scottish prison where he would be allowed to starve himself to death, although he refused to confirm this.

He has force-fed food through a tube at Ashworth hospital for the past 14 years while he has been on hunger strike.

Speaking via video link at the tribunal held at the high-security psychiatric hospital in Maghull, Merseyside, Brady criticised the interest surrounding his case nearly 50 years after he was sentenced for the killings.

He told the judge: "After half a century you'd think there would be some amelioration, but the media and the public are obsessed with this case, like Jack the Ripper".

When asked why he believed there is still an interest in his crimes, Brady said: "It's the theatrical, dramatic background - the fog, cobbled streets. The moors is the same thing...it's Wuthering Heights, Hound of the Baskervilles".

Brady previously described his killing of five children as "petty" compared to the actions of politicians and soldiers.

His legal teams are arguing that the 75-year-old has a severe narcissistic personality disorder but should no longer be considered mentally ill.

When asked to talk about his apparent hallucinations and episodes of him talking to himself, he said: "I was in solitary confinement for a time. I would memorise whole pages of Shakespeare and Plato and other people and recite them all to myself while walking up and down exercising in the cell."

Brady said other examples like this in Ashworth would be used against him.

"If I interact with the TV, Tony Blair or something on, and make any comment, this is interpreted as psychosis", he added.

"And who doesn't talk to themselves? This is a question people very rarely ask."

Brady also said that he began his hunger strike and distain towards the hospital he has stayed at since 1983 after being "attacked" by 12 wardens in riot gear at his cell.

He said the wardens held him down for an hour during the incident, breaking his wrist in the process.

The next day on 30 September, 1999, he began his hunger strike.

When asked if he planned to kill himself if he returned to jail, Brady replied: "I have been asked this repeatedly, hypothetically, from all angles, in a position of being a monkey in a cage, poked by a stick.

"I can't make plans when you have no freedom of movement."

Paranoia is unavoidable

When asked about his apparent paranoid behaviour while in hospital - only coming out at night and protecting himself with a pen - he said: "That's not paranoid. That's sensible precautions.

"I'm not protecting myself against the other inmates, I'm protecting myself against the staff.

"In a captive environment, paranoia is unavoidable. Only the prison authorities call it paranoia, prisoners call it sensible precautions."

He also described the routine at Ashworth as being like a "penal warehouse".

"They give you false drugs and turn you into a zombie," he added.

Brady has not spoken in public since 1966 at Chester Assizes, where he denied the murders.

He was jailed for life for the murders of John Kilbride, 12, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and 17-year-old Edward Evans in 1966.

He later confessed to the murders of 16-year-old Pauline Reade - whose body was found in 1987 - and 12-year-old Keith Bennett, whose body has never been discovered.

Fellow Moors murderer Myra Hindley died while serving a life sentence in 2002.