M25 killer Kenneth Noye wins open prison appeal

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

Road rage killer Kenneth Noye has won a High Court battle over whether he gets moved to an open prison.

Noye, 69, was convicted of murdering 21-year Stephen Cameron in an attack on the M25 in Kent in 1996.

Afterwards Noye went on the run and was arrested in Spain two years later.

In September 2015 the parole board refused to order his release but recommended he be transferred to an open prison, which was rejected by the then-Justice Secretary Michael Gove.

Noye had argued Mr Gove's decision was "unlawful and irrational".

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Stephen Cameron was 21-years-old when he was stabbed to death by Noye

The challenge had been contested by the current Justice Secretary Liz Truss who said there was "nothing irrational" about Mr Gove's decision.

Mr Justice Lavender over-ruled the former Justice Secretary saying: "It will be for the current Secretary of State to take a fresh decision whether or not to transfer the claimant to an open prison."

During the earlier High Court hearing Edward Fitzgerald QC, for Noye, said Mr Gove had "failed to give proper or adequate weight to the recommendation of the parole board and is therefore unreasonable and contrary to law".

Analysis: Helen Catt, Political Editor, BBC South East

It doesn't mean that Kenneth Noye automatically gets moved to an open prison.

It just means that the new Justice Secretary, Liz Truss, has to make the decision again.

What today's judgement has also done though is shed a bit of light on why an open prison is being suggested.

It quotes the parole board from 2015 that said "Noye has made considerable progress during his sentence into changing his attitudes" - that's the part that Michael Gove disagreed with.

And that, at nearly 70 years old, the risk of him absconding was "inherently unlikely".

Most interestingly though, it emerged that Noye himself has had some concerns about the move, worrying that other prisoners might perhaps sell stories on him, or perhaps use his name to falsely blame him for discipline breaches.

Noye had gone on the run for two years after stabbing Mr Cameron to death.

He was arrested in Spain and in 2000 sentenced to life, with a minimum of 16 years.

Tom Weisselberg, QC for the current Justice Secretary, said there were doubts over any change of Noye's attitude to violence, as well as the risk of absconding.

Following the decision a Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "We have noted the court's findings and will consider."

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