The Suffolk mother of Kenneth Noye’s road rage victim has said she fears for her own safety if the killer is moved to an open prison – fears which commentators say the Ministry of Justice must ignore.
Notorious gangster Noye could be back on Britain’s streets in months after the ruling by the Parole Board.
The 68 year-old is serving a life sentence for stabbing to death electrician Stephen Cameron, 21, in a road rage attack on the M25 in Kent in 1996.
Stephen’s mother Toni said she and her husband Ken are “devastated” at the decision, which if approved would mean Noye moves to a prison where he could be given home leave, trips out and even get a job.
She said: “We are devastated. He should stay in prison, he has murdered somebody. Where’s the justice?
“I wouldn’t feel safe. I don’t trust him. I wouldn’t trust him one iota. A leopard doesn’t change his spots.
“He left our son dying in the road and absconded to Spain the next day like he didn’t have a care in the world. He didn’t care about anybody apart from himself.”
Mrs Cameron, who lives in Lowestoft, said she is appalled that her son has been robbed of his life while his killer could be free to walk the streets again.
She said: “Our son hasn’t got a life, we have lost our lives – our family has all been devastated.
“We have been denied grandchildren, a marriage. We had two foster grandchildren who were with us that day and they’ve never got over it.”
Two years before killing Stephen, Noye had been released from prison for handling bullion stolen in the Brink’s-Mat robbery.
He stabbed to death police officer John Fordham in January 1985, but was acquitted at trial after claiming he was acting in self-defence.
After killing Stephen he went on the run and was arrested in Spain two years later in 1998. In 2000 he was jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 16 years.
Mrs Cameron said “life should mean life” and urged ministers to block the Parole Board’s recommendation.
She said: “Why do they think all of a sudden that he is Mr goody two-shoes? So he is going to change all of a sudden?
“He will be the model prisoner, he’s got a life of luxury in there.
“I think this country’s justice system isn’t good enough.
“If he is in an open prison he could abscond again – like he did when he murdered our son. He went to Spain for two years, showed no remorse, left him lying in the gutter dying.
“We have been fighting in Stephen’s corner for justice, but this is not justice. He was given a life sentence with a 16-year tariff, but to me life should mean life, end of. Why should he come out and enjoy the rest of his life?”
The family is planning to write to Justice Secretary Michael Gove to urge him to block the move to an open prison.
Mark Leech, editor of The Prisons Handbook for England and Wales, and Converse the monthly national newspaper for prisoners said Ministers could not lawfully intervene.
Mr Leech said: “Moving a lifer to an open prison is a matter for the Prison Service, it is they and not the Parole Board who decide what Category a particular prisoner should possess, and the prison in which he should be detained.
“However once the Parole Board has cleared the lifer’s path to an open prison it would be difficult for the Prison Service to ignore that, knowing it would inevitably lead to long costly legal proceedings when Kenneth Noye challenged it, as he certainly would, and rightly do so.
“The fears of victims are a consideration but they are not a basis for removing the prisoner’s right to progress towards the release the sentencing court clearly envisaged when they set his tariff at 16 years.”