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Last Updated: Friday, 19 March 2004, 14:46 GMT
Noye fails to alter life sentence
Kenneth Noye
Noye was extradited from Spain to stand trial for murder
Convicted murderer Kenneth Noye has failed in his High Court attempt to challenge his mandatory life sentence.

Noye, 57, was jailed in 2000 for killing Stephen Cameron on the M25 at Swanley, in Kent, in 1996.

His lawyers had challenged the home secretary's refusal to convert the life sentence to a fixed term.

But Lord Justice Kennedy said David Blunkett's "continuing refusal was entirely appropriate" and the challenge "has no merit whatsoever".

'Promise over jail term'

Noye, who was extradited from Spain in 1998 to stand trial for the killing, has been held in the special secure unit at Whitemoor Prison, in Cambridgeshire, since May 1999.

He is categorised as an exceptional escape risk.

Noye fled to Spain in 1996 after the "road rage" murder of 21-year-old Stephen Cameron.

During his trial, his lawyers argued that the Spanish courts had only agreed to his extradition after a promise from the UK prosecuting authorities that he would not have to serve a life sentence.

Appearing for Noye on Friday, Mark Tomasi said new evidence had come from a Spanish lawyer that the Crown Prosecution Service had told the Spanish courts that Noye could expect a sentence of between seven and 15 years for manslaughter.

Separate challenge

But Lord Justice Kennedy said there was still no reason to suppose the Spanish courts were under any misapprehension as to what would happen when he was returned to the UK.

He also explained that in reality Noye could become eligible to apply for parole after serving 16 years in jail, which did not mean being locked up for life.

His lawyers said they would be asking the Criminal Cases Review Commission to consider sending his case back to the Court of Appeal on the basis that his conviction was legally flawed.

Noye is mounting a separate High Court challenge alleging inhuman and degrading prison conditions.

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