Judge who jailed Kenneth Noye for life feared his gangster friends would kill victim’s girlfriend

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The judge who jailed M25 murderer Kenneth Noye has spoken of how he feared Stephen Cameron’s fiancée would be killed in a revenge attack, after testifying against him.

Years on from the trial and Sir David Latham has revealed there was evidence Danielle Cable’s life had been at risk.

Miss Cable has been living under an assumed name and Sir David has now said he will never forgive Noye, who was freed from jail last week, for making the young woman live the rest of her life in fear.

He also said that he thinks there is a risk of Noye going back into serious organised crime.

Speaking to The Mirror he said: ‘There was clear evidence that there were threats to her life for giving evidence.

‘I think Noye has friends who are really quite powerful, who were not prepared to see him get convicted. Powerful criminal friends in the criminal establishment.

‘It was quite disturbing but ­actually the thing that I was most confident about was that there was no threat to me and that is part of the whole criminal professionalism, so to speak, of Noye.

‘He wouldn’t dream of ­threat­­ening a judge because it would not help him. But he would absolutely threaten a juror and I had real reason to believe that he lived in a world where nobbling a jury was a relatively common idea and undoubtedly happened.’

He added that he had previously obtained evidence that there was going to be an attempt to ‘nobble’ the jury, but that the trial went off without incident.

In 1996, 21-year-old Stephen was stabbed to death on the slip road of the M25 in Kent, dying in Danielle’s arms.

She had been just 17-years-old at the time and helped to identify him in a Spanish restaurant just two years later.

After the murder Noye, who also took part in the 1983 £26million Brink’s-Mat gold bullion robbery –fled to Andalucia.

In 1999 he was extradited but forced Danielle to relive the nightmare all over again by denying murder before the 2000 trial, where he was found guilty and jailed for life, with a min­­imum term of 16 years.

The 72-year-old was freed last Thursday by the parole board.

Despite his crimes, Sir David also said it was right to free him, but believes the biggest threat to the crook is the pressure from his criminal past linked to the Brink’s-Mat robbery.

Sir David was asked if Noye should have been locked up for the rest of his life, to which he said ‘absolutely not’.

‘With him I am not entirely sure rehabilitation is the right word, I am a cynic about it. I think that a lot will depend upon how much money he has stacked away.

‘He is not a ­psychopath, he is not someone I don’t think can never be trusted outside. I do not think that is the risk with him.

‘The risk with him is if he goes back to organising serious crime and becomes involved again in planning, be that drugs or whatever.’

He added that that is the main risk and that it was unlikely he would be part of another road rage situation. He also highlighted that he understands how Stephen’s family must be feeling after Noye’s release.

‘If somebody had killed a child of mine I would find it very, very difficult to understand how he or she could be allowed to be released to lead a normal life.

‘But the fact is that society has gone through an agonising debate about what to do in that situation and has come to a conclusion that we should give the opportunity, except in very special ­circumstances, for somebody to be able to be released after serving a ­substantial amount of time in prison.’

Sir David is now retired but said he still remembers to this day how remarkable it was that Noye was tried for a crime unrelated to his usual activities.

‘He was respectful but I always got this feeling he was a very manipulative man and that was part and parcel of the character that he had built up.

‘He knew, because the jury knew quite a lot about his ­background, that he had to make sure he presented himself as a reasonable, sensible man, involved in a very unfortunate incident which was nothing to do with his criminal career.

‘I mean, it is bizarre. You can’t make a comparison with Al Capone or anyone like that but he went down for the longest stretch he has had to do as a result of a simple piece of human misbehaviour, not because he was a serious criminal.’

An experienced judge, Sir David also presided over the case of nurse Beverley Allitt who murdered four children in her care.

He said Noye had been one of the ‘most interesting characters’ as he is an ‘intelligent man’.

‘Why did he go into crime? He comes across as a person where you think, ‘You could have done very well as a straight person’.’

He said he did not believe Noye fell into the same category of ‘wickedness’ as other he had tried.

Noye is currently said to be living in a bail hostel until he is allowed to return to his family home in Kent.

The father of Kenneth Noye’s murder victim has slammed the decision to free the killer from prison after almost 20 years.

Notorious road rage killer Noye was freed on June 6, after serving nearly 20 years for the vicious stabbing of Stephen Cameron, 21, on an M25 slip road near Swanley, Kent, in 1996.

The cold-blooded murder took place in front of Mr Cameron’s 17-year-old fiancée Danielle Cable while Noye was out on licence from a previous prison term.

The 71-year-old is now a free man after a parole board praised his ‘improved victim awareness’, ‘clear life goals’ and ‘ability to control his emotions.’

Mr Cameron’s father, Ken Cameron, has said he ‘feels disappointed’ that the man who killed his son was able to walk free. 

The 72-year-old said he had been resigned to the fact that his son’s murderer would one day be released.

‘We never wanted revenge for Stephen – all we have ever wanted was justice. He left Stephen dying in the gutter that day.

‘Justice would have been life in jail – not him walking the streets now. Releasing him after 19 years is not justice.’

The Ministry of Justice said in a statement: ‘We understand this will be a distressing decision for the family of Stephen Cameron and our thoughts remain with them.

‘Like all life sentence prisoners released by the independent Parole Board, Kenneth Noye will be on licence for the remainder of his life, subject to strict conditions and faces a return to prison should he fail to comply.’

Last month the Parole Board confirmed his release from an open jail has been approved after it ruled he is no longer a ‘significant risk to the public’.

Despite his history of violence stretching back decades, the parole panel said they were impressed by the killer’s ‘decision-making’, ‘maturity about his situation’ and ‘insight into his past behaviour’.

The decision has allowed Noye to walk free from Standford Hill open prison in Kent.

Retired Detective Superintendent Nick Biddiss, who helped bring Noye to justice, said: ‘Stephen Cameron’s family have been let down by the criminal justice system.

‘I don’t know where these people are coming from in making this decision and allowing him to be released. The system believes murder is hardly worth thinking about.

‘What is going on? It makes a joke of the life sentence. There’s no doubt Noye will now be back to his criminal network.

‘He truly has pulled the wool over everybody’s eyes.

‘People need to think about his victim’s family. They live the rest of their lives with their own life sentence. What sort of justice do they get?’

Mr Biddiss said he thought Noye would be monitored now he is released but questioned how closely this would be.

He added: ‘He’s disappeared once, what’s to say he will not do that again?

‘He’s a career criminal.’

Mr Cameron whose wife Toni, died in April 2016 following a short illness added that she was glad she hadn’t been around to see it.

‘She always said the only way she wanted to see Noye come out of jail was in a wooden box.

‘There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of Stephen. Noye is now out to live his life and do what he wants.

‘I’m sure he will go to Spain to a nice little bolt hole and live the good life. He’s a free man now but our family will grieve for Stephen every day.’

Former career criminal Noye, once acquitted of murdering a policeman after claiming self-defence, has been at Standford Hill open prison in Kent for the past 18 months – just 30 miles from his victim’s father.

When talking about the parole board decision, Ken said: ‘This is a joke. It’s nonsense.

‘Noye has always been a nasty and violent man all his life and some courses and programmes in prison are not going to change that.

‘He says what they want to hear and he does what they want to see.

‘He would have made out he is a good boy to them. But he will walk out of that prison and pick up from where he left off.

‘He’s pulled the wool over their eyes and now he is being released.

‘He’s never going to change. He’s an evil man.’

Justifying the decision to release him, a spokesman for the parole board 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.’

In 1985, Noye stabbed to death Detective Constable John Fordham in the grounds of Kent mansion. He was cleared of murder.

But the following year he was jailed for 14 years for handling gold bullion stolen in the infamous 1983 Brink’s-Mat robbery. Twice refused parole, he was freed in 1994.

After the 1996 M25 attack, Noye fled, arranged for the Land Rover he was driving to be disposed of, and flew to Spain where he lived under a false name until his arrest in 1998.

When he was convicted of murder in 2000, he was handed a life sentence with a minimum of 16 years.

Ex-Flying Squad head Barry Phillips said: ‘If people look at what Noye has done in his life, and the trail of death and human misery he has left behind him, they will perhaps conclude he should stay behind bars for the rest of his natural.’

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