Michael Stone’s sister Barbara said her brother, 61, will not apply for parole after almost serving 25 years in prison as it would be an admission of guilt over the Russell murders
Michael Stone will refuse the chance to apply for parole this year because he will not accept guilt for the murders of Lin and Megan Russell, the Mirror can reveal.
The 61-year-old’s sister Barbara said her brother will be eligible to apply soon, having almost served his minimum 25-year sentence handed down to him in 1998.
Speaking after Levi Bellfield wrote a “confession” letter to Stone’s legal team about the 1996 murders, Barbara, 59, said the statement was being added to a submission with the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
She added: “If he applied for parole it would mean he would be admitting his guilt and he absolutely refuses to do that because he did not commit the crime.”
Barbara and her brother, who she speaks to daily, also joined calls for a force other than Kent Police to re-investigate the killings.
She said: “It’s good progress for Michael in trying to prove his innocence, and of course, my heart goes out to the Russell family.
“I believe Bellfield’s confession as there are items in there to provide the means to prove it’s truthful.
“We were aware of Bellfield’s involvement but this is the first time we’ve got a statement that he admits he did it.
“I’ve spoken to Michael, he’s trying not to get too carried away but he’s very hopeful.
“I already knew he was innocent. There’s no DNA, he did not have a car, he doesn’t look like the photofit.”
Michael and Barbara’s mum Sarah Standen died of Covid during Christmas 2020, meaning both their parents are not alive.
She said: “I really wish they were alive to see this. They were incredibly supportive.”
Stone remains a category A prisoner in Durham’s HMP Frankland.
He is in the general population while Bellfield is in a section usually reserved for child killers, Barbara said.
Bellfield converted to Islam in recent years and now goes by Yusuf Rahim.
In his alleged confession he admits being responsible for killing the Russells.
His solicitor claims it means Stone will “finally” get his freedom.
A spokesman for the Parole Board said: “We can confirm the parole review of Michael Stone has been referred to the Parole Board by the Secretary of State for Justice and is following standard processes.”
Prisoners do not apply for parole and those serving life terms are automatically referred to the board by the Ministry of Justice after serving their minimum tariff.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.