Page last updated at 10:03 GMT, Monday, 25 September 2006 11:03 UK

Stone's long bid to block report

Michael Stone leaving court in 2005

Since the brutal murders of Lin and Megan Russell in 1996, Michael Stone has spent 10 years on a legal mission.

The man twice convicted of the murders of the mother and daughter spent years trying to prove his innocence, mounting two appeals against his conviction.

More recently, Stone, now 45, made an unsuccessful attempt to block the publication of a report into his care and treatment before the attack.

The report was initially completed in 2000, following an independent inquiry.

The inquiry was commissioned after the murders, by three agencies which had been treating or supervising Stone before he killed Mrs Russell and her younger daughter in Chillenden, Kent.

Threats to kill

They were West Kent Health Authority (now NHS South East Coast), Kent Social Services and Kent Probation Services, which between them had helped Stone with mental health problems and drug addiction and supervised him during his time on probation.

The report revealed Stone told a psychiatric nurse he wanted to kill people - just days before the Russell murders - and had also threatened to kill a probation officer and prison officers.

It also said agencies failed to share information, but concluded it was impossible to say the murders could have been avoided by a better standard of care.

Lin Russell (left) and her daughter Megan
Lin and Megan Russell were killed on a country lane in Chillenden

When the report was completed in November 2000 its release was delayed by the fact Stone was at the time in the process of appealing against his conviction.

Stone was convicted for a second time in October 2001, and the following year further information was added to the report.

But the report's publication was put on hold again in 2005, when Stone mounted a separate legal challenge against it being published in full.

He argued the medical information he had provided to the inquiry should be made public only "to the people who need to learn the lessons".

'Tabloid press treatment'

When his bid to stop the information being made available to the media and public went to the High Court earlier this year, Stone's legal team said he was happy for an edited version of the report to be widely published.

His lawyer, Richard Clayton QC, said in a hearing in June: "The claimant objects to disclosure of highly personal medical information... to the world at large, not least because of the treatment it will receive by the tabloid press."

But in July 2006 Mr Justice Davis ruled the 384 page report should be published in full "in the public interest", saying that no privacy or data protection laws would be breached.

His decision may have angered Stone, but it was welcomed by Shaun Russell, husband of Lin Russell and father of Megan and her sister Josie, who survived the attack in 1996.

He said Stone's case was "yet another in a long catalogue of cases where people who have mental problems, violent offenders, have been free in the community and haven't been monitored, looked after, assessed, managed properly".

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