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Legal bid by Noye given consent

7 March 08 12:16 GMT

Convicted killer Kenneth Noye has won permission for a fresh legal challenge.

The measure is over the refusal of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to refer his conviction for the murder of Stephen Cameron to the Appeal court.

Noye was jailed in 2000 for killing 21-year-old Mr Cameron on the M25 at Swanley, in Kent, in 1996.

An appeal by Noye, now 60, was dismissed in 2001 and in 2004 he failed in his bid to challenge his mandatory life term.

'Legally flawed'

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

He fled to Spain in 1996 after stabbing his 21-year-old victim. Noye is seeking a declaration that the CCRC's decision in October 2006 not to send his case back to the Appeal Court was legally flawed.

On Friday, Lord Justice Richards and Mrs Justice Swift, at London's High Court, granted permission for a one-day judicial review hearing of that decision.

They said there were sufficient fresh grounds "to warrant further consideration of this case".

Pathologist criticised

Lord Justice Richards said the argument now presented on Noye's behalf concentrated on the path and depth of stab wounds to Mr Cameron, and the degree of force used.

Noye's solicitors had also obtained material which was critical of Michael Heath, the Home Office pathologist who resigned in September 2006, and who gave evidence at the trial.

It was submitted that Dr Heath was completely discredited and it was necessary to consider the effect on the jury if his evidence was left out, and if additional fresh pathologist's evidence was taken into account.

And at a full hearing, it would also be argued the CCRC had not adequately considered what impact the discrediting of Dr Heath had on the safety of the conviction.

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