A CONVICTED murderer, who has been released from prison after 27 years, says he is being forced to move to Middlesbrough - despite a £100,000 price having been put on his head by Teesside gangsters. 

Kenny Carter, 45, from Merseyside, was released from prison three months ago after most of his adult life behind bars.

He was convicted of murdering cellmate Darren Brook, who was found hanging in the cell they shared at Durham Prison in 1990.

Now Mr Carter may seek a judicial review within days to block the move to the North-East - otherwise he said he will refuse to go because he has old enemies in Teesside.

The Northern Echo:

An inside view of Durham Prison

Mr Carter said his parole board agreed three months ago he could be released from prison to live in Merseyside, where he has friends and family, but a stint in a treatment centre did not work out and he was moved to an emergency parole hostel.

But his Middlesbrough-based probation officers have now decided that he needs to move to a more permanent place in a hostel in Teesside, and have served him with a "travel order" which means if he refuses he could face going back behind bars. He has to move on Wednesday or face arrest, unless a legal challenge is successful.

He lived in the Teesside area before he was sent to prison and still has one family member there but says his support is in Merseyside and that is where he has been doing well since his release.

Mr Carter told The Northern Echo: "I made a lot of enemies when I was first in prison. There was a lot of violence. But I am a changed man. If I go back to Teesside there will be absolute mayhem.

"I had a price on my head, £100,000, and the police even came into prison in 1994 to warn me about it. These things never get lifted.

"There are major gangsters in the North-East who are my enemies."

His solicitor Sarah Brook, of RMNJ prison law solicitors in Birkenhead, Merseyside, said Mr Carter had got back on his feet since his release and was doing well.

She said: "He spent 27 years in prison so arguably is living in a very different world now. He has got previous negative associations with the North-East so understandably he is upset at the prospect of having to go there."

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "We don’t comment on individuals. Any location is risk-assessed by police and other agencies to ensure it is safe and suitable for the offender’s circumstances.”


A SENIOR police officer last night spoke of his embarrassment after vital evidence, crucial to a murder appeal, vanished, writes Chris Brayshay.

Fears have now been raised that the Durham police blunder may jeopardise hopes of quashing a murder conviction against 28-year-old Kenny Carter - who has always maintained his innocence.

Carter, from Thornaby, Teesside, was jailed for life in 1990 for the murder of a 19-year-old cell mate at Durham Prison.

He was alleged to have bullied Darren Brook into hanging himself after first forcing him to write a suicide note. It was also said he repeatedly kicked Brook with such force that his shoe split.

Those three vital pieces of evidence - the noose, note and shoe - are needed by Carter's solicitor, Janet Irving, for forensic examination for a possible appeal, never having been independently examined before. But all three items have disappeared.

They are the only pieces of evidence missing from 44 exhibits stored in three bags by the police following the trial.

Ron Hogg, Assistant Chief Constable to Durham police, wrote to Miss Irving saying "extensive efforts" had been made to trace the three items - but in vain.

He said: "I can only repeat the embarrassment this has caused to the force, and unless you can suggest further lines of inquiry, I am at a loss to see what further can be done." The incident is to be reported to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Miss Irving said: "It's very odd that out of 44 exhibits only three are missing - the three I have asked for."

A spokesman for Durham police said: "We have not knowingly destroyed them. We are talking about a long space of time during which police stations have closed. It may be that the three items may have been stored in a place different to the other exhibits." 

Carter's mother, Maureen Hawkes, said last night: "I am not surprised they (Durham police) are embarrassed. You cannot lose three exhibits just like that. I think they have a lot of apologising yet to do."