Original article from Kent Live
There aren't many crimes that can see an individual locked away for life and the nature of one that can is often quite horrific.
Brutal murders, violent rapists or predatory paedophiles will find themselves behind bars for a long time.
However, not all of these criminals will serve out the entirety of the rest of their life in prison.
A person who is sentenced to life will remain on licence permanently and can only apply for parole after they’ve served their minimum term set by a judge.
They will only return to the community if a Parole Board deems they no longer pose a risk to the public.
But at some point the vast majority of prisoners will be eligible for release.
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Many believe killers and rapists should never be released and will struggle to believe they will ever be anything but a danger to society.
The process of paroling a criminal is complicated, with members judging the situation that led to their offending behaviour, if they had a chaotic lifestyle previously and how the offender might manage themselves in the community.
Kent Live took a look at some of the county's most notorious offenders and when they are up for potential release.
Scottish serial killer Peter Tobin is currently serving three life sentences.
Tobin was sent to prison for the 2006 rape and murder of Polish student Angelika Kluk.
The bodies of 18-year-old Dinah McNicol and 15-year-old Vicky Hamilton were also discovered in his garden at his house in Irvine Drive in Margate.
Vicky had been abducted from her West Lothian hometown in February 1991, and then later raped and murdered.
Dinah had gone missing in August 1991 where she was last seen hitchhiking home with a male companion she met at a music festival in Hampshire.
The pair had been picked up by a man who promised to take her to Brentwood and after her companion was dropped off on the M25, she was never seen again.
On December 2, 2008, Tobin was convicted of Vicky’s murder and on December 16, 2009, he was found guilty of kidnapping, drugging, raping and murdering Dinah.
In Dinah’s case, it took the jury just 13 minutes to find him guilty.
Tobin was diagnosed with cancer in prison in 2019, but the 74-year-old has seemingly recovered from the affliction.
No parole date is currently available for Peter Tobin
Michael Stone – jailed 1998
Michael Stone was jailed for the Chillenden murders.
The court heard he bludgeoned Dr Lin Russell and her six-year-old daughter Megan to death with a hammer, as well as nine-year-old Josie who survived.
Lin and her daughters were walking back from a school swimming gala in July 1996 when they were tied up and beaten with a hammer in Chillenden, a village between Deal and Canterbury.
They were reported missing by dad Professor Shaun Russell.
Stone was arrested and subsequently given three life sentences for the horrendous attack.
DNA at the scene did not match his, but he was found guilty in 1998 based on evidence from three other prisoners, including pal Damian Daley.
Daley told police Stone had confessed while awaiting trial at Canterbury jail.
Stone was found guilty again at a 2001 retrial, held after one of the three admitted fabricating his account.
The retrial judge ordered he should serve a minimum of 25 years.
Stone always appealed the decisions claiming his innocence, and a fresh balaclava found half a mile away from the murder site last month could potentially clear him.
Stone is eligible for parole in July 2022, but he has refused it as he attempts to prove his innocence.
Kenneth Noye – jailed April 2000
Kenneth Noye stabbed 21-year-old Stephen Cameron to death in 1996 after a fit of road rage on the M25.
The two were involved in a minor crash, but Noye reacted in a horrifically violent manner on the Swanley motorway slip road
Cameron's fiancé, Danielle Cable, 17, had been driving his Bedford Rascal van on a trip to London to buy bagels.
Not used to driving his vehicle, they were involved in a minor collision with a Land Rover.
But rather than walking away, Noye pulled a knife out, walked back to the young couple and stabbed Stephen, who was unarmed.
Noye then fled, leaving Stephen to die at the side of the road.
Noye was later found to have gangland connections, and was eventually tracked down two years later in the resort of Barbate, in Spain.
He was extradited and finally stood trial April 2000 where he was found guilty by a jury with a majority verdict of 11 to 1.
He was jailed for life and is currently finishing his sentence at HM Stanford Hill on the Isle of Sheppey, which is a low security unit with day release.
On 6 June 2019, then aged 72, Noye was released from prison after serving 20 years for the M25 attack.
Foster Christian – jailed 26th October 2016
Mum-of-three Natasha Sadler-Ellis, 40, and Simon Gorecki, 48, were stabbed to death in a fit of rage by violent mechanic Foster Christian.
The shocking attack was carried out at a house in Dickens Avenue, Canterbury on 29 March 2016.
Christian, who was 54 at the time and lived at the property, launched the horrendous knife attack after a row over hot water with Simon, who was his housemate.
He also seriously injured Natasha’s son Connaugh Harris, then 20, and a 16-year-old boy during the terrifying rampage.
Christian, who had 30 previous convictions, was found guilty of the double murder following trial on 26 October 2016 and was jailed for 30 years.
Christian is currently eligible for parole on 19th October 2046
Joshua Stimpson – jailed 6th February 2018
Joshua Stimpson murdered his ex-girlfriend Molly McLaren, as the University of Kent student sat in her car in Chatham Dockside.
Stimpson stabbed her 75 times in broad daylight on 29 June 2017, just 12 days after the relationship had ended for good.
Former colleagues at his workplace described him as having two sides to his personality, with one being a charming and bright man, and the other as a loner who found conversation difficult.
Stimpson had met Molly on Tinder in 2016 and dated for a few months before issues arose.
Molly complained of Stimpson's "childish" behaviour to her mother and he turned "nasty" once they officially separated.
In the days leading up to her death, Stimpson registered at the same gym as Molly, and regularly “turned up” at the same place she was, even following her to the pub on the night before her death.
He was sentenced to a minimum of 26 years in prison at Maidstone Crown Court, with Stimpson admitting manslaughter but not murder.
Stimpson is currently eligible for parole on 28th January 2044.
Gordon Locke – jailed 24 January 2019
Gordon Locke stabbed his agoraphobic neighbour, Gordon Farnes, with a fish-gutting knife on 17 July 2018.
This was after Farnes had banged on his ceiling after Locke's girlfriend was having a fit in their upstairs flat.
This angered Locke, who stabbed Farnes twice in the abdomen whilst on a cocktail of drugs.
Farnes had time to call his mother to say what had happened before he died at the scene.
Locke initially denied murder saying it was self-defence, but it took a jury just six hours to come to a unanimous verdict of guilty.
Sentencing at Maidstone Crown Court saw the 28-year-old receive a minimum of 22 years in prison.
Locke is currently eligible for parole on 18th January 2041, with a minimum of 21 years and 173 days to serve.
Patrick MacKay was born in Dartford in 1952 and is a serial killer who has confessed to murdering 11 people, three of which are confirmed.
At the age of 22, Mackay split Father Anthony Crean's skull open with an axe and repeatedly stabbed him to death in 1975.
This was after he had befriended Crean in 1973, which hadn't stopped him from taking a £80 cheque from his house.
He was ordered to pay the money back but never did. This caused an inevitable breakdown in their relationship and Mackay ended up leaving Kent for London.
On his next visit to the county MacKay murdered Crean.
MacKay was arrested shortly afterwards and was also convicted of killing Isabella Griffiths and Adele Price.
Griffiths was stabbed in her flat in Chelsea and Price was strangled in her own flat after MacKay had broken in on both occasions.
In November 1975 he was convicted of manslaughter (due to diminished responsibility) and sentenced to life imprisonment
In May 2021 the Parole Board said that MacKay would not be eligible for release.
The Knight brothers – jailed 14 July 2016
Brothers Scott, Adam and Joshua Knight murdered Delyth Andrews, 54, in her own home in Ramsgate after performing around seven hours of wrestling moves on her.
The attacks left her with a broken back, broken ribs and her body covered in bruises.
The brothers claimed to have smoked legal highs before their brutal attacks.
Ms Andrews had got to know the brothers’ mother Elaine Morley, who was homeless, and she invited her to move into her neat and well-kept semi-detached home.
Within weeks they had stripped it bare of everything they could sell to buy drugs – wrecking the property so much that one observer described it as looking like a drugs den.
Joshua and Adam had offered guilty pleas to the lesser charge of manslaughter and all three admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent before she died.
They were sentenced to a minimum term of 23 years in Canterbury Crown Court, with the jury taking three days to find all of the brothers guilty of murder.
The Knight brothers are eligible for parole on 9th July 2039.