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Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
Timeline: the Russell murders
Michael Stone
Stone was arrested in 1997 after a BBC Crimewatch reconstruction
A report on the care of Michael Stone, who murdered Lin and Megan Russell in 1996, has been published.

Stone spent years protesting his innocence over the attack on Dr Russell and her two daughters, Megan, and Josie - who survived.

He mounted two appeals against his conviction and later tried to block the publication of the report into his care before the murders.

Here is how the key events unfolded:


Michael Stone receives a two-year prison sentence for attacking a man with a hammer during the course of a robbery.


Stone is sentenced to four and a half years in prison for two counts of actual bodily harm after stabbing a friend in the chest.


Stone is jailed again - this time for 10 years - for armed robbery on a building society in Brighton. He is released in 1993.


9 July Dr Lin Russell and her two daughters are attacked by a man wielding a hammer as they walk home along a country lane in Chillenden, near Canterbury, Kent.

Dr Russell and six-year-old Megan are killed while Josie, nine, survives with severe head injuries and brain damage.

December Josie, and her father Dr Shaun Russell, move from their family home in Kent to start a new life in the Nantlle Valley in north Wales.

Her injuries left her with speech problems and very little memory of the attack, but she begins to make a partial recovery.


1 May Josie recovers enough to speak about the attack for the first time in an interview with police, which is videotaped and later presented as trial evidence.

9 July A reconstruction of the attack on the Russells is shown on the BBC's Crimewatch UK programme, on the first anniversary of the attack.

Michael Stone, from Gillingham, Kent, is arrested and held in the segregation wing of Canterbury jail.


1 April Josie Russell is awarded 18,500 by the independent Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

The award is widely condemned as derisory and Home Secretary Jack Straw urges Dr Russell to appeal.

29 July On appeal the award - for the loss of Josie's mother and sister - is increased to 79,000.

6 October Michael Stone goes on trial for the murders of Lin and Megan Russell and the attempted murder of Josie at Maidstone Crown Court.

23 October The jury finds Stone guilty on all three counts by a 10-2 majority verdict, after nearly 15 hours of deliberation.

6 November Stone's defence team formally lodge an application to appeal against his conviction and say they are "hopeful and optimistic" about their chances of being granted leave to appeal.


6 September The Sun newspaper reports that Josie Russell has been awarded an extra 97,000 in compensation for her injuries and loss of future earnings.


November An independent inquiry into Stone's care before the murders is completed, but its report cannot be published because Stone is seeking the right to appeal against his conviction.


18 January Three senior judges sitting in the Royal Court of Justice in London grant Stone the right to appeal against his conviction after prosecution witness Barry Thompson admits lying.

6 February Stone successfully challenges his conviction at the Court of Appeal. The judges say that, in the light of doubts over a key witness, the appeal "must succeed". They quash his conviction but order a second trial.

5 September Stone's retrial begins at Nottingham Crown Court.

4 October Stone is found guilty of the murder of Lin and Megan Russell and the attempted murder of Josie Russell.


3 March Stone is given leave to appeal for a second time. Judges rejected a claim that adverse publicity had prejudiced his trial.

However they allowed the appeal to go ahead to reinvestigate witness testimony which Stone's lawyers claimed was unreliable. They were referring to prosecution witness and criminal Damien Daley. He claimed Stone had confessed to the attack to him in prison.

4 March Shaun Russell accepts Stone's right to appeal but says he believes justice has been done.

30 March Prosecution witness Damien Daley is jailed for four years for drug dealing.

8 September Stone's second appeal is opened and adjourned.


17 January Stone's appeal begins at Appeal Court in London. Judges are told Daley is a "career criminal" and, apart from his evidence of Stone's "confession", there is no scientific or separate witness evidence linking Stone to the Russell murders.

19 January Stone loses his appeal. Lord Justice Rose said he was "unpersuaded" Daley's drug use "significantly devalued his evidence so as to cast doubt on the safety of the verdicts".

18 December The three agencies which commissioned the independent inquiry into Stone's care and treatment reveal he is opposing the full publication of the inquiry's findings.

A statement from Kent Social Services, Kent and Medway Strategic Health Authority and Kent Probation Service said: "Michael Stone says that while he welcomes the publication of the report's findings he objects to the publication of confidential health and social care information contained in the full report."

Stone's solicitors seek a judicial review of the decision to publish the report - which was first completed in 2000.


19 June The High Court hearing into whether the report should be published in full begins, with Stone's lawyer saying the details of his mental health treatment could be misused by the tabloid press.

12 July Stone loses his attempt to have the "highly personal medical information" kept from the public and media.

Mr Justice Davis says: "The public interest requires publication of the report in full."

25 July Stone's lawyers abandon the attempt to stop the publication of the mental health report when the Legal Services Commission refuses to fund the appeal.

25 September The report is published and reveals Stone had told a psychiatric nurse he wanted to kill people, days before the Russell murders, and that he suffered from a personality disorder.

The inquiry also concludes there were significant failings in his care, with medical records lost, but that it was not possible to say the murders could have been avoided with a better standard of care.


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