He said he was going to kill me, Noye tells court

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The Independent Online

Kenneth Noye appeared at the Old Bailey 15 years ago and was acquitted of the murder of a police officer he had stabbed to death, he told the same court yesterday. Standing before a judge and jury at Britain's most famous criminal court, he said he was innocent of murdering Stephen Cameron too.

Giving evidence on the seventh day of his trial, Mr Noye said he had killed Mr Cameron, 21, in self defence. He had also successfully pleaded self-defence, he told the jury, at his trial for the murder of DC John Fordham in 1985.

Mr Noye told the Court he had knifed Mr Cameron through the heart and liver because he believed his life was in danger during a violent "road rage" confrontation off the M25 in Kent in May 1996. He had fled to Spain immediately after the killing because he feared he would not get a fair trial.

Mr Noye described himself as "a placid man" who "did not know how to fight" and would "never even hurt an animal."

Wearing a grey cardigan a shade darker than his silver-grey hair, with a blue, open-necked shirt and dark-blue trousers, Mr Noye spoke about his criminal past, including his conviction for handling gold stolen during the Brinks-Mat robbery, for which he had received a 14-year sentence.

Mr Noye repeatedly leant forward in the witness box, spreading out his hands expressively as he spoke in a rapid-fire estuary accent, occasionally looking at the jury box next to him.

Beyond the jury, Ken and Toni Cameron, Stephen's parents, sat looking at Mr Noye, who had passed within two feet of them as he walked from the dock to the witness box. As Mr Noye gave his account of their son's alleged murder, Mr Cameron squeezed his wife's hand. When Mr Noye thrust his arm forward to demonstrate to the jury how he had used the knife, Mr Cameron turned his face away, Mrs Cameron looked down and bit her lip.

Mr Noye claimed that Mr Cameron had subjected him to kicks and punches, and repeatedly threatened to kill him for no reason after they met on the slip road at the Swanley interchange.

Mr Noye maintained that he had got out of his Land Rover Discovery and approached a red Rascal van being driven by Mr Cameron's fiancée, Danielle Cable, after mistaking her for the girlfriend of a friend of his, Micky Taylor.

Mr Noye said that Mr Cameron had got out of the van and approached him. "I could see his face and I knew I was in trouble. He said: 'I will kill you'. I hadn't done nothing. I hadn't antagonised him or anything. As he came at me he kicked me in the waist and I tried to throw a punch. I didn't know how he'd done it but he kicked me and then he pushed me in the middle of the motorway.

"A lorry was coming towards me. I just heard the hooter. I thought I was going to get run over. As I went back in, he put one on my chin, and I went down to the floor."

Mr Noye claimed that Mr Cameron prevented him from getting into his Land Rover and leaving. At that point, Mr Noye produced his knife. "I took the knife out and pointed it. I see him and then said: 'don't come near me you nutcase'. His girlfriend was shouting: 'Get off!'

"He's telling me he is going to kill me. He is just in a complete wild rage. He caught me with a couple of unlucky blows and I thought, If he knocks me down and gets my knife out of my hand he is going to use it on me without a shadow of a doubt. I can't fight. I was worn out.

"I can't remember how exactly I done it, but then I struck out. I had my head down, and we were moving about close together, and I just struck out. I can only remember striking out once, but I accept it was twice. He definitely knew I had the knife."

The Court had heard that, after the killing, Mr Noye drove away and made and received 17 calls on his mobile telephone. The next day, he took a private helicopter to Normandy and from there flew to Spain on a private jet.

Asked why he had not gone to the police, he said: "The police, the press and the way I am brought here to the Old Bailey, like a monkey in a box. I personally cannot ever see me getting a fair trial. My wife said if you go to the police station you know what is going to happen."

Mr Noye told the jury that in the previous stabbing incident he had found DC Fordham, dressed in camouflage gear, in the grounds of his Kent home.He claimed the police had not told the truth in the Fordham case, and that, during the Brinks-Mat trial, one of the jurors was seen "laughing and joking" with an officer guarding them after the Judge had instructed that jurors and police should not communicate.

Mr Noye said that he had started carrying a knife after serving nine years and four months of the Brinks-Mat sentence because "I was in fear of my life from two sources. The police definitely detested me and I had it in my mind that they would pull in a villain who had done something really serious and would get them to do something to me."

He also feared being kidnapped for the Brinks-Mat gold after a friend, Nick Whiting, was killed over the affair. "He had absolutely nothing to do with the gold. He was a businessman. He was stabbed."

Under cross-examination by Julian Bevan QC, Mr Noye admitted that had he not been tracked down and arrested in Spain two years later, he would never have returned to this country. Mr Bevan also questioned him about his decision to leave Stephen's parents ignorant of what had happened. "You have a son, Mr Noye, don't you? Did you ever consider the human side, and then discard it?"

Mr Noye responded: "I have said to my sons since they were little: 'If you ever get in a fight just walk away. You never know what will happen.'"

Mr Noye, of Sevenoaks, Kent, denies murder.

The case continues.