LONDON -- British child-murderer Ian Brady failed Friday to convince a court that he is not insane and should be transferred from a high-security psychiatric hospital to a prison.

Brady and his late girlfriend Myra Hindley tortured and killed five children in the 1960s, burying the bodies on moorland in northwest England. The shock of the "moors murders" lingers almost 50 years on, and the two are considered to be among the country's most notorious criminals.

This week, Brady spoke in public for the first time since his 1966 conviction, asking a mental health tribunal to rule that he was not insane. He has previously said he wants to go to prison so he can starve himself to death rather than being tube-fed in the hospital.

But the tribunal at Ashworth Hospital in northwest England heard that Brady -- who claims to have been on hunger strike since 1999 -- eats toast and soup and is not suicidal.

In hours of rambling testimony, the 75-year-old Brady claimed he had used method acting techniques to fake mental illness and called his crimes part of an "existential experience."

Ashworth Hospital, where he is being treated, said Brady was a severely mentally ill man with a history of the most extreme violence and deviant sexual interests.

A panel led by Judge Robert Atherton ruled that Brady was mentally ill and should remain hospitalized "for his health and safety and for the protection of other persons."

Families of Brady's victims criticized the tribunal, for which Brady received legal aid funding. But they expressed relief that he had not gotten his wish.

"He should stay where he is, that's my honest opinion on it," said Terry Kilbride, whose 12-year-old brother John was killed by Brady and Hindley."I don't believe he's going to kill himself -- that's just a ploy, just another wind-up."

Kilbride said Brady should be kept alive as long as possible so that he could reveal where he had buried Keith Bennett, the only victim whose body has not been found.

Hindley died in prison in 2002 at age 60.