Kent

M25 killer Kenneth Noye to be freed from prison

Kenneth Noye Image copyright PA
Image caption Kenneth Noye fled to Spain after he murdered Stephen Cameron in 1996

M25 road-rage killer Kenneth Noye is to be released from prison, the Parole Board has confirmed.

Noye, 71, stabbed 21-year-old Stephen Cameron to death in an attack at the Swanley interchange of the M25 in Kent in 1996.

Noye later claimed he killed Mr Cameron in self-defence during a road-rage fight. He was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 16 years in 2000.

The Parole Board said he no longer poses a risk to the public.

Noye, who is currently at Standford Hill open prison in Kent, is expected to be released within weeks.

Mr Cameron's father Ken told the BBC: "I'm gutted."

When asked whether he had spoken to the Parole Board, he said: "Yes, they're letting him out."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Stephen Cameron was 21 when he was stabbed to death by Noye

The electrician was stabbed in front of his fiancee Danielle Cable, who was given a new identity and has been living under a witness protection scheme ever since.

Noye went on the run after the killing, and was tracked down in Spain in 1998 and extradited back to the UK.

Noye's release case was considered at a hearing on 9 May after it was referred by the Justice Secretary.

The panel heard evidence from Noye's probation officer and Prison Service officials.

Noye, who first became eligible to be considered for release on 21 April 2015, also gave evidence to the panel.

This was the third review of Noye's case by the Parole Board.

The panel heard how Noye was of "good conduct and compliance" in prison and had "worked positively" with officials dealing with his case.

The Parole Board said Noye "had demonstrated an ability to deal appropriately with potentially violent situations in prison and was clearly well motivated to avoid further offending in the community".

Analysis

By Danny Shaw, home affairs correspondent, BBC News

The Parole Board's decision is likely to spark huge controversy, not least because of Noye's offending history - which stretches back to the 1960s - and his past connections to organised crime.

There are also likely to be those who question whether Noye has truly changed.

Less than four years ago, a parole panel rejected his bid for release citing a psychological assessment that his "main characteristic trait was criminal versatility, and that superficial charm, grandiose sense of self, lack of remorse, manipulative behaviour, failure to accept responsibility and poor behaviour controls were partially present".

The panel said he had a "need to be in control".

However, should Stephen Cameron's family wish to challenge the release decision their only option is to go to court and start judicial review proceedings, which are expensive and offer no guarantee of success.

A far simpler internal review system, which the Government promised last year, won't apply in this case because it doesn't come into effect until July.

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Kenneth Noye in custody at Dartford Police Station in May 1999

The panel said it was satisfied that Noye met the test for release and was suitable for return to the community.

He will have to reside at a designated address, be of good behaviour, and report as required for supervision or other appointments.

There will be strict limitations on his contacts, movements and activities.

'Distressing decision'

Roy Ramm, a former commander in specialist operations at New Scotland Yard, said: "Kenneth Noye is a career criminal. He's been involved in some of the biggest crimes in the UK.

"He has spent his life around criminal enterprises.

"He is a man who has been proven to be very violent in the past... there should be a great deal of supervision around him and about his conduct."

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "Clearly this will be a distressing decision for the family of Stephen Cameron and our thoughts remain with them.

"Like all life sentence prisoners released by the independent Parole Board, Kenneth Noye will be on licence for the remainder of his life, released subject to strict conditions and faces a return to prison should he fail to comply."

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