Road rage killer Kenneth Noye loses sentence appeal

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Road rage killer Kenneth Noye failed today in his bid to have the minimum life term he must serve for murder reduced.

The 63-year-old was jailed for life at the Old Bailey in 2000 for the stabbing murder of 21-year-old Stephen Cameron on the M25 at Swanley in Kent in 1996.

A High Court judge sitting at Newcastle Crown Court ordered he must spend at least 16 years in jail before he can be considered for parole.

The decision means Noye could be freed in six years because of time already spent in jail.

Noye had applied to the High Court to review his minimum term, set at 16 years in 2002 by the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett.

Giving his judgment, Mr Justice Simon said: "I have concluded on this review that there is no proper justification for reducing the minimum term; and for this reason I set the period which must be served before the applicant can be considered for parole at 16 years.

"The period during which the applicant was held in custody, 11 months and 24 days, must be deducted from this period."

Noye said the tariff should be reduced to 10 years to give him credit for time spent in custody after he was arrested in Spain.

He also said he had been suffering depression and post traumatic stress disorder in jail.

Tariffs are now set by judges - lifers who were notified of their minimum term by a Home Secretary can apply to the High Court for a review.

A reviewing judge will take a number of factors into account, including impact statements from bereaved relatives, the mitigating and aggravating features of the case and also whether enough "exceptional" progress has been made in prison to justify a reduction.

The options open to a judge are to rule that a tariff must remain the same, or should be reduced - but the term imposed by a Home Secretary cannot be increased.

Even if a minimum term is cut an offender may still have to serve many years more, as he or she will not be released until they are no longer regarded as a danger to the public.

Noye was sentenced to life for murdering Mr Cameron during an argument on a motorway slip road in 1996.

He used a 9in knife he kept in his car to stab Mr Cameron as the victim's horrified 17-year-old fiancee looked on.

The killing sparked an international hunt for Noye. He was finally extradited from Spain in 1998.

Noye had been acquitted of the earlier murder of a police officer but had served 14 years in jail for his part in the 1983 Brinks-Mat bullion robbery.

The policeman who led the murder investigation welcomed the ruling.

Former Kent Police detective superintendent Nick Biddiss said Noye was a career criminal who deserved to be behind bars.

Mr Biddiss, who now works as a security manager, said: "Noye committed an act of murder and should serve life in prison - and life should mean life.

"This has been going on for 13 years now.

"He received his tariff and should serve it. He seems to forget the effect he has on his victim's family.

"His name keeps coming up, he's constantly making appeals to the courts and it must have a very debilitating effect on Stephen Cameron's family.

"They have to move on with their lives and come to terms with the fact they lost their son and he's not coming back.

"Noye is a career criminal.

"He made a lot of money out of crime and was part of that culture in south east London and the north Kent area.

"He was well known, well respected and well feared in the criminal fraternity.

"They were very cautious of him and will probably continue to be so."

The Crown Prosecution Service has spoken to the victim's parents Ken and Toni Cameron.

A spokesman said: "A member of the Kent CPS has spoken to Mr and Mrs Cameron to inform them of the hearing and will let them know the outcome."