NOTORIOUS M25 road rage killer Kenneth Noye has been freed after almost two decades behind bars.
The gangland thug, 72, had been jailed for life in 2000 after stabbing 21-year-old Stephen Cameron to death and going on the run for two years.
But the Parole Board last month said they had found Noye was "suitable for return to the community".
The Ministry of Justice today confirmed he had been released, saying in a statement: "We understand 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, subject to strict conditions and faces a return to prison should he fail to comply."
Noye had gone on the run after knifing 21-year-old electrician Stephen Cameron to death on a motorway slip road in 1996.
He was eventually tracked down in Spain in 1998 and given a life sentence with a minimum of 16 years in 2000.
Speaking after the Parole Board's decision was handed down, Cameron's dad Ken, 72, spoke of being "totally devastated".
He said: "Life should mean life.
"I hoped this day would never come. I sort of knew it was coming, though – I was almost resigned to it. But it is still a complete kick in the teeth."
Noye was released on licence this morning, and is expected to live in a bail hostel for a number of weeks.
As part of his release, Noye will have to comply with a strict set of rules, including reporting as required for supervision or other appointments.
If he breaches the conditions, he faces being recalled to prison.
But a cop who helped cage him recently claimed the killer would flee to Spain where he's stashed millions.
LIFE OF CRIME
Underworld kingpin Noye had been involved in a life of crime before he was jailed in 2000.
The gangland figure had knifed an undercover cop to death in 1985 but was controversially acquitted of murder after claiming self-defence.
Months after his acquittal over the killing of detective John Fordham during the Brink’s-Mat bullion robbery probe, Noye got 14 years for handling stolen gold bars.
The 1983 robbery had become known as the "crime of the century" after six thieves stole more than £26 million worth of gold, diamonds and cash.
Stephen was stabbed to death in a road rage attack on May 19, 1996.
The young man was with fiancée Danielle Cable, 17, on their way to buy bagels when he was involved in a road rage incident with Noye on the slip road of the M25 at Swanley, Kent. But Noye returned to his car, got out a knife and stabbed the youngster through the chest.
He died in the arms of distraught Danielle.
After the murder Noye fled to the Continent and had his car destroyed and replaced.
Police eventually tracked him down to a bolt hole on the Spanish mainland and detectives from Kent Police took Danielle to the resort where he was hiding and identified him in a restaurant in August 1998.
Noye was arrested and extradited back to the UK and was found guilty after an Old Bailey trial.
A recommendation to move him to an open prison was blocked by former Justice Secretary Michael Gove in 2015. But in 2017 Noye's lawyers went to the High Court and judges overturned the Government decision.
He was moved to Standford Hill open prison on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. Noye was pictured on day release in April 2018 wearing an Adidas tracksuit.
Noye's wife Brenda and two sons Kevin and Brett still live in the county.
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