Gove blocks open prison move for road rage killer Kenneth Noye

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Road rage killer Kenneth Noye has been refused a move to an open prison by the Justice Secretary over fears for public safety.

A ruling by the Parole Board paved the way for the notorious gangster to be back on Britain's streets within months, but Michael Gove stepped in to reject its recommendation.

Noye, 68, is serving a life sentence for stabbing to death electrician Stephen Cameron, 21, in a road rage attack on the M25 in Kent in 1996.

Such an intervention by the the secretary of state is rare, with fewer than 1% of Parole Board recommendations being turned down over the last five years. A source said around 40 recommendations out of up to 6,000 from 2010 to this year had been rejected by the Justice Secretary.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "We do not comment on individuals.

"Public protection is our top priority and transfers to open conditions can only be made when we are certain that public safety will not be compromised."

Two years before killing Mr Cameron, Noye had been released from prison for handling bullion stolen in the Brink's-Mat robbery.

He stabbed to death police officer John Fordham in January 1985, but was acquitted at trial after claiming he was acting in self-defence.

After killing Mr Cameron he went on the run and was arrested in Spain two years later in 1998. In 2000 he was jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 16 years.