Kenneth Noye

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Kenneth Noye
Born Kenneth James Noye
24 May 1947 (1947-05-24) (age 67)
Bexleyheath, Kent, England
Occupation Gangster

Kenneth James Noye (born 24 May 1947) is an English criminal who is serving a life sentence for the 1996 murder of Stephen Cameron in a road rage incident. Following an acquittal in 1985 for the murder of a police officer in 1985, Noye was convicted in 1986 of handling stolen goods, and served eight years in prison.

Early Life[edit]

Noye was born in Bexleyheath, Kent, where his father ran a post office and his mother a dog racing track.[1] His dishonesty began at a young age. At five, his mother caught him taking money from the till in a branch of Woolworths while she had been talking to a shop assistant. A bully at his secondary modern school, he ran a protection racket with his fellow pupils.[2] He left school at 15.[3] For selling stolen bicycles after he had altered their appearance, and other crimes, he spent a year in a Borstal. A barrister's legal secretary he met at this point would later become his wife.[2]

Criminal activities before 1996[edit]

A police informer for many years,[4] Noye had begun a connection with corrupt officers by the time he was arrested for receiving stolen goods in 1977.[5] He became a Freemason in the late 1970s, becoming a member of the Hammersmith Lodge in London after being proposed for admission by two police officers, and rose to become master of the lodge. A significant proportion of the membership were police officers.[5] Noye was expelled from the Freemasons in 1989, according to a letter from the Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of Great Britain, published by The Independent newspaper in December 1996.[6]

One of his police contacts persuaded a customs official to lay off Noye,[5] while his tip-offs to the Metropolitan Police's Flying Squad were reportedly a means to prevent competition from rival criminals.[4] Meanwhile, he had built up a legitimate haulage business to use as cover. At first refused planning permission for a mansion on a plot of land he owned, he was able to gain consent in a subsequent application shortly after his bungalow on the site was destroyed in a fire caused by an electrical fault.[2]

Brink's-MAT[edit]

Active as a fence, Noye was among those involved in laundering a huge quantity of stolen gold bullion taken during the Brink's-MAT robbery by six armed men on 26 November 1983.[1] While he was being investigated for his involvement in the crime, Noye stabbed to death Detective Constable John Fordham who was involved in the police surveillance of Noye in the grounds of his home. Acquitted of murder on the grounds of self-defence in December 1985,[7] he was found guilty in July 1986[8] of handling some of the stolen gold,[9] and of a conspiracy enabling him to avoid paying Value Added Tax.[1]

The discovery of the bullion had surprised the gang as they expected to find £3million in cash;[10] their contacts had no experience of dealing with gold, let alone 6,800 bars worth £26million in 1983.[1] Mick McAvoy, one of the quickly arrested thieves, had asked Brian Perry to conceal the gold he had received, and it was Perry who brought in Noye and John Palmer, subsequently nicknamed "Goldfinger"; Palmer was acquitted in 1987 of knowingly handling gold from the Brink's-MAT robbery.[10][11] Noye had smelted much of the Brink's-MAT gold he had received, and mixed it with copper coins in an attempt to disguise its origins,[9] although eleven gold bars from the robbery were still found hidden at his home. Sentenced to 14 years, and fined £500,000 with £200,000 costs,[3] he was released from prison in 1994, having served eight years. In a civil action brought by the loss adjusters of Brink's-Mat insurers, £3million was recovered from Noye while he was incarcerated.[12]

The murder of Stephen Cameron[edit]

Just over a year later, Noye became involved in an altercation with 21-year-old motorist Stephen Cameron on a slip road of the M25 motorway near Swanley in Kent[13] during a road rage incident on 19 May 1996.[14] During the fight, Noye stabbed and killed Cameron with a knife. Noye immediately fled the country, later revealed to have been assisted by associate John "Goldfinger" Palmer, convicted for a time-share fraud in 2001,[15] who had claimed in 1999 to barely know Noye, if at all.[16] While Noye was on the run, Detective Constable John Donald was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for corruption. For £1,000, via an intermediary, he had passed on confidential information about police operations to Noye.[17][18]

A significant police hunt led to Noye being located in Spain during 1998, with the help of the intelligence services,[19][20][21] which actually rendered the arrest illegal, as the admission of using spying techniques constitutes a territorial infringement. However, the Spanish authorities were not informed of GCHQ's role in tracking Noye down. Police instead claimed that Noye was spotted by a tourist.[22]

Cameron's girlfriend Danielle Cable, who had witnessed the killing, was secretly flown out to positively identify him,[14] which she did on 27 August.[23] Noye was arrested the following day,[24] and finally lost an appeal against his extradition from Spain seven months later.[25]

Despite the obvious risks involved, she opted to testify against Noye.[26] He claimed not to be a violent man at the trial, and again pleaded self-defence, explaining that he had fled because the police hated him and he feared not receiving a fair trial.[7] Found guilty on 14 April 2000, after a trial held in conditions of high security,[27] Noye was convicted of murder by the jury's majority verdict of 11-1 after their deliberations had lasted 8 hours and 21 minutes,[28] and was given a life sentence by Lord Justice Latham.[29][30] Despite evidence of his wealth, Noye was awarded Legal aid amounting to about £250,000 for his defence at the trial[31] (and he also received financial support for his initial appeal). After auditors in an official inquiry found the correct procedures in such cases had not been followed,[32][33] one of the officials responsible for Noye's financial support in the Lord Chancellor's office resigned, while another was disciplined.[34] Cable was given a new identity[35] under the witness protection programme,[36] having been praised by police for her courage in giving evidence in the presence of Noye and his associates.[37]

Another eyewitness, Alan Decabral,[38] declined protection[39] and was shot dead in his car in Ashford, Kent, on 5 October 2000; police sources were in no doubt that Decabral was killed by a professional hitman.[40] However, police sources stated that Decabral had himself been questioned about gun-smuggling,[40][41] had extensive criminal contacts,[39] and his estranged wife later admitted that he had been a drug dealer who owed a large amount of money.[42] Although Noye was questioned by the police, they believe that the still unsolved murder had no connection with him.[43]

The trial judge at Noye's trial for murder did not make any recommendation as to how long Noye should be incarcerated in prison,[28] but in 2002 the then Home Secretary David Blunkett set a minimum tariff before Noye may apply for parole of 16 years.[44]

Appeals[edit]

On 10 October 2001[45] and again in 2004,[46] Noye appealed unsuccessfully against his conviction. He was represented in 2001 by Michael Mansfield QC.[47] In 2007 a legal challenge was made against the Criminal Cases Review Commission's decision not to refer his case to the Appeal Court as "legally flawed".[48]

On 7 March 2008, Noye took a step toward a fresh legal challenge, when Lord Justice Richards and Mrs Justice Swift granted permission for a one-day judicial review hearing, covering the CCRC's October 2006 decision not to send his case back to the court of appeal.[49]

On 25 June 2010, Noye failed in a bid to have the minimum term he must serve for murder reduced. Mr Justice Simon, a High Court judge sitting at Newcastle Crown Court, ordered that he must spend at least 16 years in jail before he can be considered for parole.[44]

On 14 October 2010, Noye was granted a fresh appeal against his conviction for Stephen Cameron's murder, but was rejected on 22 March 2011,[50] Another appeal, this time against the tariff, was dismissed on 12 March 2013.[51][52]

Prison Transfer[edit]

Noye was reported to have been moved from the Category A prison, Whitemoor, to a Category B prison, at Lowdham Grange, in September 2011.[53]

Personal Life[edit]

Noye is married to Brenda Tremain, who lives in the Cornish village of Looe. They have two sons, Kevin and Brett.[54] In 2013, Noye's son, Brett, was banned from being a company director for 21 years, for his part in a £2.4 million rat poison rip-off.[55]

Noye's villa, in Atlanterra, Spain, which was purchased for £200,000 cash, was reportedly sold for £500,000, in 2001.[56]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Noye: From street vendor to Mr Big", BBC News, 14 April 2000
  2. ^ a b c Tony Thompson "Noye linked to more killings", The Observer, 16 April 2000
  3. ^ a b "Profile: Kenneth Noye", BBC News, 22 March 2011
  4. ^ a b Thompson, Tony (2000-11-12). "Crime can pay – but grassing pays more". The Observer (London). Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  5. ^ a b c Kim Sengupta and Paul Lashmar Noye's tangled web of corruption, Independent on Sunday, 14 April 2000
  6. ^ M.B.S, Higham "Letter ; Be fair to the Freemasons", The Independent, 24 December 1996
  7. ^ a b Nick Hopkins "Kenneth Noye: the day I killed", The Guardian, 8 April 2000
  8. ^ Chris Summers "In search of thieves' gold", BBC News, 26 January 2004
  9. ^ a b "Brinks Mat gold: The unsolved mystery", BBC News, 15, April 2000
  10. ^ a b Tony Thompson "Curse of the Brinks-Mat heist claims its latest victim", The Observer, 25 November 2001
  11. ^ Palmer was reported by The Independent in 1993 as being subject to an asset freezing Mareva Injunction gained by Brink's-Mat from the High Court of Justice enabling investigators to track his substantial financial resources. See Phil Davison and Michael Prestage "Victims of a sunshine fraudster: Britons are being bullied and deceived by a timeshare firm in Tenerife", The Independent, 28 February 1993
  12. ^ Bob Ogley "Brinks Mat – the heist of the century", Bexley Tmes, 3 December 2009
  13. ^ "", BBC News, 7 April 2000
  14. ^ a b "The search for Kenneth Noye", BBC News, 14 April 2000
  15. ^ John Steele "Noye's flight to Spain revealed as appeal fails", telegraph.co.uk, 2001
  16. ^ Elizabeth Nash "Goldfingered", The Independent, 2 July 1999
  17. ^ Marianne MacDonald "Corruption uncovered at heart of the Met", The Independent, 29 June 1996
  18. ^ "Detective bribed to reveal police secrets", The Independent, 28 June 1996
  19. ^ Rob Evans and David Hencke "Gag on spies' role in Noye case", The Guardian, 22 July 2000
  20. ^ "Historical Dictionary of British Intelligence". Nigel West. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  21. ^ "How Noye was caught". The Independent. 14 April 2000. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  22. ^ "How Noye was caught". The Independent. 14 April 2000. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  23. ^ "Noye 'carried knife in car'", BBC News, 5 April 2000
  24. ^ "Noye arrested over 'road rage' death", BBC News, 30 August 1998
  25. ^ "Noye loses extradition battle", BBC News, 25 March 1999
  26. ^ "Fiancee weeps over motorway death", BBC News, 30 March 2000
  27. ^ "Huge security at Noye trial", BBC News, 14 April 2000
  28. ^ a b Nick Hopkins "The end of a life of crime", The Guardian, 15 April 2000
  29. ^ Mark Tran "Noye guilty of M25 'road rage' murder", guardian.co.uk, 14 April 2000
  30. ^ "British road rage killer gets life", BBC News, 14 April 2000
  31. ^ "Inquiry as Noye's legal aid revealed", BBC News, 29 April 2000
  32. ^ "Action over Noye legal aid 'mistake'", BBC News, 29 July 2000
  33. ^ Cahal Milmo "Old Bailey staff face dismissal over Noye's £250,000 legal aid", The Independent, 29 July 2000
  34. ^ John Sweeney "Blood money", The Observer (Observer magazine), 25 February 2001
  35. ^ "Fiancée's 'joy' over M25 conviction", BBC News, 15 April 2000
  36. ^ Jamie Wilson "Road rage fiancée fears Noye revenge", The Guardian, 17 April 2000
  37. ^ Nick Hopkins "Fiancée's tale: Girlfriend praised for her courage giving evidence", The Guardian, 15 April 2000
  38. ^ "Witnesses tell of fatal fight", BBC News, 31 March 2000
  39. ^ a b Tony Thompson "Was Noye case witness killed by Hell's Angels?", The Observer, 15 October 2000
  40. ^ a b David Sapsted "Witness at Noye trial shot dead in his car", telegraph.co.uk, 6 October 2000
  41. ^ David Sapsted "Noye denies link with car park 'execution'", telegraph.co.uk, 7 October 2000
  42. ^ "Kenneth Noye appeals against M25 murder conviction", BBC News, 9 March 2011
  43. ^ Paul Cheston "Road rage killer Kenneth Noye 'was the victim of an unfair trial'", London Evening Standard, 9 March 2011
  44. ^ a b "Kenneth Noye fails to have murder term reduced", telegraph.co.uk, 25 June 2010
  45. ^ "Noye appeal fails", telegraph.co.uk, 10 October 2001
  46. ^ "Killer Noye 'has become victim of oppressive regime'", telegraph.co.uk, 12 February 2004
  47. ^ "Road rage killer's appeal rejected". BBC News. 10 October 2001. 
  48. ^ "Noye seeks to overturn conviction", BBC News, 20 June 2007
  49. ^ "Legal bid by Noye given consent". BBC News. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  50. ^ "Kenneth Noye loses M25 murder conviction appeal". BBC News. 22 March 2011. 
  51. ^ Brian Farmer "M25 road rage killer Kenneth Noye fails in attempt to have minimum jail term cut", 12 March 2013
  52. ^ "Road rage murderer Kenneth Noye loses attempt to appeal sentence", BBC News, 12 March 2013
  53. ^ "Kenneth Noye the road rage killer is moved to a "softer jail"". The Daily Mirror. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  54. ^ "Blood Money". The Observer. 25 February 2001. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  55. ^ "Kenneth Noye's son in £2.4m rat poison rip-off". The Sevenoaks Chronicle. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  56. ^ "Blood Money". The Observer. 25 February 2001. Retrieved 2014-08-18.