Page last updated at 17:12 GMT, Monday, 19 June 2006 18:12 UK

Russell murderer in privacy bid

Lin Russell (left) and her daughter Megan
Lin Russell, 45, and six-year-old Megan were killed in 1996

Details of a mental health report into the man who bludgeoned Lin and Megan Russell to death could be misused by the press, the High Court has heard.

Michael Stone, 45, is serving life for the two murders and the attempted murder of nine-year-old Josie Russell, in Chillenden, Kent, 10 years ago.

He is trying to prevent parts of the report from being widely published.

Stone's lawyer, Richard Clayton QC, said on Monday he was concerned about how the tabloid press would treat it.

An independent report into his care under mental health, probation and social workers was completed in 2000, but Stone wants the High Court to protect his privacy.

Michael Stone in 2001
Michael Stone's second appeal failed last year

The independent inquiry was commissioned by Kent Social Services, West Kent Health Authority and Kent Probation Service.

Mr Clayton told Mr Justice Davis that Stone had co-operated fully with the inquiry, disclosing private details about his care and treatment.

He said he had always been content for "lessons to be learnt" from it and for a second report to be published for public consumption setting out the conclusions of the inquiry.

"However, the claimant objects to disclosure of highly personal medical information by publication to the world at large, not least because of the treatment it will receive by the tabloid press," he said.

Kent & Medway Strategic Health Authority, Kent County Council and Kent Probation Board are all defending the decision to publish the full report.

Mr Clayton said the defendants had failed to prove that he had consented to publication of the full report, nor had he waived his right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Data Protection Act.

Shaun Russell and Josie
Josie Russell moved to Wales with her father Shaun after the attack

Philip Havers QC, for the defendants, is arguing that the suggestion that the full report would have a negative impact on Stone's mental health and welfare is unsupported by any medical evidence.

Before the murders on 9 July, 1996, Stone had been receiving support and treatment for mental health problems and drug addiction and had also spent time on probation.

Stone's lawyer, Peter Edwards, said the case was not an attempt to prevent publication of the whole report "to those who need to know".

"This is an attempt to make it clear that if somebody co-operates with an inquiry, their private medical information will only be released to the people who need to learn the lessons.

"On the other hand, a redacted version, with the private and confidential details left out, will be enough to show the report was not a whitewash and there is nothing to hide," he said.

Stone was found guilty and given three life sentences in October 2001 after his original 1998 convictions were quashed and a retrial ordered.

The hearing, expected to last three days, continues on Tuesday.

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