Kenneth Noye, one of Britain’s most notorious gangsters, will be released from prison after the Parole Board concluded he was “suitable for return to the community”.
The M25 road rage killer has been at an open prison in Kent for the past 18 months, and tasted freedom for the first time in 20 years last April after being taken to hospital by his girlfriend without any prison supervision.
His fate was determined on Wednesday, and a Parole Board spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has directed the release of Kenneth Noye following an oral hearing.
“Parole Board decisions are solely focused on whether someone would represent a significant risk to the public after release. The panel will have carefully looked at a whole range of evidence, including details of the original evidence and any evidence of behaviour change.
“We do that with great care and public safety is our number one priority.”
It is understood he will be released within around three months.
Noye, who turns 72 on Friday, was convicted in April 2000 and ordered to serve a minimum 16 years for stabbing to death Stephen Cameron in a roadrage attack on the M25 in Kent in 1996.
The panel acknowledged Noye’s “readiness to carry and to use weapons on occasions and not being able to resolve arguments reasonably at key moments in his life” as a risk factor at the time of his offending.
The evidence analysed by the board also showed that in the past Noye held “unhelpful attitudes concerning the use of violence and did not always control extreme emotions well”.
But, in coming to a decision to release the murderer, the panel insisted that through rehabilitation programmes in prison he was now safe to be re-integrated to society.
The Parole Board concluded: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Noye met the test for release and was suitable for return to the community.”
Kenneth Noye’s release conditions:
- To comply with requirements to reside at a designated address, be of good behaviour, and report as required for supervision or other appointments
- To comply with other identified limitations concerning contacts, activities, residency and exclusion zones
- To continue to address defined areas of risk
Stephen’s father Ken, 72, said: he was “totally devastated” and “couldn’t believe they have made this decision”.
“Life should mean life,” he added. “I hoped this day would never come. I sort of knew it was coming, though – I was almost resigned to it. But it is still a complete kick in the teeth.
“It is a decision which is out of our hands. What can we do? He is going back on the streets when he should spend the rest of his days behind bars.
“Stephen was denied a life by Noye on May 19, 1996 when he left him lying in the gutter. And we are the ones who have had to live a life sentence. There isn’t a day we don’t think of Stephen.”
Heartbroken father Mr Cameron’s wife Toni passed away after a short illness in April 2016.
He added: “I’m only glad in a way Toni was not here to see Noye released because she would be devastated. Toni always said she only ever wanted him to come out of prison in a wooden box.
“We never wanted revenge for Stephen. All we have ever wanted is justice and justice would be life in jail.
“He can now go and live the rest of his life as a free man while our family still grieve for Stephen every day.”
Ken added: “I’m sure he’ll head off to a nice little bolt hole in Spain somewhere and live the good life. I’m absolutely gutted if I’m honest with you. I bet he’ll be celebrating [his birthday on Friday] somehow. It’s quite hard to take.”
At the time he committed the murder, Noye was out on licence after serving eight years in prison for his part in the £26million Brink’s-Mat gold bullion robbery at Heathrow.
He had previously been acquitted in 1985 of the murder of John Fordham, an undercover detective who was part of a team investigating the heist.
Noye stabbed Fordham to death in the grounds of his home, but claimed he thought he was an intruder.
In the summer of 2017, the Parole Board recommended Noye’s transfer to an open prison, paving the way for his unsupervised hospital visit.
Noye was pictured leaving Standford Hill open prison on the Isle of Sheppey where he was collected by his partner in a 4×4 and driven to a local NHS hospital for a minor procedure before being taken back to jail.
The Ministry of Justice confirmed at the time the scheduled visit was unsupervised and that Noye did not wear an electronic tag.
After murdering Cameron in a road rage incident on an M25 interchange in Kent, Noye went on the run but was caught in Spain after Danielle Cable, Cameron’s girlfriend, was flown out by police and identified him.
His release to the community will be handled by the Ministry of Justice. The Telegraph has contacted the Government department for comment.