A “professional criminal” given a life sentence for a road rage murder on an M25 slip road today failed in a bid to get his 16-year minimum jail term cut by the Court of Appeal.
Kenneth Noye, now 65, had fled to Spain - after stabbing 21-year-old Stephen Cameron to death in Swanley, Kent, in 1996 - then been arrested and extradited to Britain to face trial, an appeal hearing in London was told.
Lawyers argued that some of the nine months Noye had spent in custody in Spain awaiting extradition should have been taken off the minimum term he was given by a trial judge after being convicted of murder at the Old Bailey in 2000.
But three appeal judges - Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, Mr Justice Mackay and Mr Justice Sweeney - today refused to give Noye permission to challenge the minimum term.
Lord Judge said Noye's application for leave to appeal was "wholly without merit".
And Mr Justice Mackay said Noye, who was not at the Court of Appeal hearing, had been free to return from Spain because he knew police were "after him".
Lord Judge described Noye - who has twice lost appeals against his murder conviction - as a "professional criminal" and said he was not a "man of good character" when he stood trial following Mr Cameron's death.
The judge said Noye had been given a 14-year jail term in 1986 after being convicted of handling stolen gold bullion following the "notorious" £26 million Brink's Mat robbery at a Heathrow airport warehouse in 1983.
And in 1985, Noye had stabbed to death Detective Constable John Fordham - a Metropolitan police officer who was part of an undercover team investigating the Brink's Mat robbery - in the grounds of his home in West Kingsdown, Kent.
Noye had been acquitted of Det Con Fordham's murder after pleading self-defence at a trial, said Lord Judge.
Jurors heard that Mr Cameron and Noye had confronted each other and started fighting during a road-rage incident. Noye had been driven back during the fight and had then produced a knife and stabbed Mr Cameron twice.
During extradition proceedings Noye denied any involvement in Mr Cameron's death, said Lord Judge. During the trial he had denied murder on the grounds of self-defence - and he had lost appeals against conviction in 2001 and 2011.