The Moors Murderer Ian Brady has died at a high security psychiatric hospital in Merseyside.

The Glasgow-born killer was confirmed to have died by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

One of the of the most reviled murderers in British history, Brady  had been receiving treatment from nurses who specialise in terminal cancer.

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Britain’s longest-serving prisoner, was being held in the high-security Ashworth psychiatric hospital in Merseyside  where he had been force-fed for many years after going in hunger strike from 1999.

HeraldScotland:

The 79-year-old's condition was said to have then deteriorated to the point that he is close to death.

A spokesman for the NHS trust said: "We can confirm a 79-year-old patient in long term care at Ashworth High Secure Hospital has died after becoming physically unwell."

The cause of Brady’s death is not yet clear, was but he was reported to be receiving palliative care from nurses around the clock.

Two private ambulances were seen leaving the grounds of the hospital on Monday night.

Brady and Myra Hindley (below)  together sexually tortured and murdered five children and teenagers, aged between ten and 17, in the 1960s.

HeraldScotland: Myra Hindley (pictured) and Ian Brady killed schoolboy Keith Bennett in 1964

Four of their victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor near Manchester.

Brady's crimes were described as Evil Beyond Belief by the judge at his trial at the Chester Assizes.

The killings shocked the nation, not least because Brady's accomplice was a woman, and also because of the complete lack of remorse either showed during the subsequent trial.

Terry Kilbride, whose brother John, 12, was also murdered by Brady, begged him to tell police where he dumped the body of Keith Bennett (below), who went missing, aged 12, in 1964.

Mr Kilbride said on Monday that it was "going to feel good" to see the murderer gone.

Brady’s death means that Keith's family will probably never find out his final resting place.

HeraldScotland: Keith Bennett, who was killed by Myra Hindley and her lover Ian Brady

Myra Hindley, who was 18 when she met Brady at her job as a typist, died in prison in 2002 aged 60.

In one of her pleas for parole, Hindley wrote, ‘Within months he [Brady] had convinced me that there was no God at all: he could have told me that the earth was flat, the moon was made of green cheese and the sun rose in the west, I would have believed him, such was his power of persuasion.’

Brady was born Ian Stewart on 2 January 1938, the illegitimate son of a Scottish waitress.

His violent personality was said to have been moulded by an unstable background. His mother neglected him and he was raised by foster parents in the Gorbals.

He left Glasgow at 16 and moved to live with his natural mother in Manchester after getting in trouble with the law, and assumed his stepfather's name.

It was there that he met Hindley and it is said she fell completely under his influence.

He developed sinister new interests, building up a library of books on Nazi Germany, sadism and sexual perversion.

Five years ago, secret letters revealed how he would invent a series of tales about a happy childhood in The Gorbals, where he broke into houses and enjoyed hanging cats from rooftops.

The serial childkiller created an image of himself as a big-time gangster by claiming he would meet crime contacts in Glasgow's Necropolis cemetery.

HeraldScotland: Child killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley who buried the bodies of four children on Saddleworth Moor. The body of Keith Bennett remains undiscovered

Brady and Hindley

In the letters he claimed he was still enjoying nostalgic trips to the Gorbals in 1965, just before he and Hindley were arrested for the murders.

He writes: "Even to the end I regularly returned to the Gorbals, strolling its alleys and backs after midnight, reliving childhood adventures, remembering air raids and the blackout, etc."

Brady, who was fixated with firearms, claimed he first handle a gun while still a pupil at Glasgow's Camden Street primary school.

In the letters he alleges "every man and boy" in The Gorbals carried a knife in those days.

HeraldScotland: Murderer - Myra Hindley on Saddleworth Moor, pictured by Ian Brady. This image was one of several used by police to try and pinpoint Keith Bennett’s remains

Hindley, pictured by Brady

Brady was sentenced to life in 1966 after being convicted of the murders of John Kilbride, aged 12, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17.

He later confessed to the murders of Keith Bennett, 12, and Pauline Reade, 16, together with Hindley.

The killer had launched a legal bid in 2013 to be transferred out of the prison to a hospital so that he could stop being fed through a tube and be allowed to die if he wishes.

He was turned down at the mental health tribunal on the grounds that he was still insane and needed hospital care.