Road-rage killer Kenneth Noye is to be released from prison after the Parole Board concluded he is suitable to return to the community.
The 71-year-old was jailed for life with a minimum term of 16 years in 2000.
He stabbed 21-year-old Stephen Cameron to death on an M25 slip road in Kent in 1996.
After the Parole Board’s decision was confirmed, Mr Cameron’s father Ken told the BBC he was “gutted” and declined to comment to the Press Association because he “can’t cope with it”.
Noye went on the run after the killing and was arrested in Spain in 1998.
He first became eligible to be considered for release in April 2015.
In 2017, the Parole Board recommended Noye be transferred to “open conditions”.
The body has now directed his release, following an oral hearing earlier this month.
A Parole Board spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has directed the release of Kenneth Noye following an oral hearing.
“Parole Board decisions are solely focused on whether someone would represent a significant risk to the public after release.
“The panel will have carefully looked at a whole range of evidence, including details of the original evidence and any evidence of behaviour change.
“We do that with great care and public safety is our number one priority.”
Noye, who is currently at Standford Hill open prison in Kent, is expected to be released within weeks.
Licence conditions that he will have to adhere to were set out by the Parole Board:
– To comply with requirements to reside at a designated address, be of good behaviour and report as required for supervision or other appointments.
– To comply with “other identified limitations” concerning contacts, activities, residency and exclusion zones.
– To continue to address “defined areas of risk”.
As required by law, Noye’s case was referred to the Parole Board to determine whether he could be safely released on life licence.
A three-person panel considered the case at an oral hearing on May 9.
A summary of the decision released by the board said: “The test for release on licence is whether Mr Noye’s continued confinement in prison is necessary for the protection of the public.
“If not, his continued confinement would be unlawful, and the panel must direct his release on licence.”
In reaching the decision, the panel considered a 439-page dossier of written evidence.
Witnesses who gave oral evidence included Noye himself, his community-based probation officer and a psychologist employed by the prison service.
The panel also considered a “victim personal statement” which “set out clearly the impact that Mr Noye’s crime had, and continues to have, on his victim’s family”.
The panel “identified risk factors associated with Mr Noye at the time of his offending”, the summary said.
It said: “These had included his readiness to carry and to use weapons on occasions and not being able to resolve arguments reasonably at key moments in his life.”
Evidence was presented regarding Noye’s successful completion of accredited programmes when detained in closed prison conditions, earlier in his sentence.
“These had addressed decision-making, better ways of thinking and considering consequences, and a tendency to use violence in certain conditions,” the summary said.
“He had also completed a training course focused on improved victim awareness and, shortly before being transferred to open conditions, he had participated in a more advanced programme dealing with strategies to avoid use of violence.”
Witnesses described Noye’s “good conduct and compliance in prison”, according to the summary.
It said: “He had worked positively with officials dealing with his case and had demonstrated maturity about his situation, as well as greater insight into his past behaviour.
“He had demonstrated an ability to deal appropriately with potentially violent situations in prison and was clearly well motivated to avoid further offending in the community.
“The professional witnesses were all of the view that Mr Noye had addressed his risk factors appropriately and had reduced his risk to the public to a level at which, with a robust risk management plan in place, it would be manageable safely in the community.”
The summary concluded: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Noye met the test for release and was suitable for return to the community.”
A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: “Clearly this will be a distressing decision for the family of Stephen Cameron and our thoughts remain with them.
“Like all life sentence prisoners released by the independent Parole Board, Kenneth Noye will be on licence for the remainder of his life, released subject to strict conditions and faces a return to prison should he fail to comply.”