A MURDERER who stabbed his victim through the heart and left him to die in the street has been recalled to prison for a FOURTH time – after the alleged theft of gold coins in Swindon.

Andy Busson, whose son Jonathan was stabbed to death by murderer Wesley Keel in 1996, called for changes to the system by which dangerous criminals are released into the community.


The 64-year-old told the Adver: “I think it’s disgusting. It makes a mockery of the Parole Board system.

“To think they can let him out four times – this is his fourth recall. Where does it stop?”

He added: “We’ve written letters to the Parole Board through the probation service liaison system. But it falls on deaf ears.

“I believe Wesley Keel is still a danger to the public.”


Keel was sentenced in 1997 to life imprisonment for killing 16-year-old Jonathan Busson in Cheltenham the year before.

He served more than 12 years behind bars but was recalled to prison on licence late last year after he was charged with stealing two Sovereigns from another man in March.

The west Swindon manl, now 42, was recalled in November. He remains in prison despite prosecutors dropping the theft charge at Swindon Crown Court last month. Keel, who had been living in Stonefield Close, Eastleaze, had pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutor Hannah Squire told the court: “I can’t see there is any public interest in this matter proceeding. I propose to offer no evidence.”

Judge Jason Taylor QC recorded formal not guilty verdicts to the theft allegation. He told Keel: “That’s the end of this matter.”

Finally, last week, Keel was jailed for six weeks after he admitted stealing steak, a lemon drink and trying to steal rum.


Keel was 19 and the de-facto leader of a violent gang in Whaddon, Cheltenham, when he murdered Jonathan Busson - three years his junior.

On the night of Sunday, August 11, 1996, Jonathan was out with Keel’s younger sister Stacey. Keel pressured a friend into driving him around Cheltenham looking for the young couple.

He became more and more angry until he eventually spotted Jonathan and Stacey sitting on a bench at the end of an alleyway. Keel confronted the younger man and pulled out a knife. Jonathan pleaded with his attacker as Keel plunged the knife into him 10 times. A stab wound the heart proved fatal.

Keel left the scene, later directing his friend to twice drive past the scene where police were tending to him.

He then turned up at the hospital claiming to be Jonathan’s friend and offering to tell the boy’s parents their beloved son was dead.

Keel was convicted by a Bristol jury in July 1997 – almost a year after the murder. Judge Mark Dyer, who presided over the trial, said Keel showed no hint of remorse.

He was later said to have accepted his guilt, expressed remorse for his actions and made progress in prison. In 2006, Mr Justice Crane at the High Court ruled the minimum tariff Keel should serve be set at 12 years – minus 11 months served on remand awaiting his trial.

He was initially released on licence in 2010. He has been recalled to prison four times.

Lord Chancellor responds

Justice Secretary and Swindon South MP Robert Buckland told the Adver: “I completely understand the frustration that Mr Busson must be feeling as he sees his son’s killer returned to prison for a fourth time. The National Probation Service monitors murderers who have been released from custody and does not hesitate to recall to prison those who pose a serious risk to the public, as can be seen in this case.

“We have made significant changes over the last two years to make the parole process more transparent and accountable and we will be reviewing it again to ensure the Parole Board commands the full confidence of victims and the wider public.”


August 11, 1996: Jonathan Busson is attacked and killed by Wesley Keel in Cheltenham. Four young men were held following the boy’s death.

July 1997: Keel is found guilty of murder at Bristol Crown Court and sentenced to life imprisonment. The trial judge recommended a minimum tariff of 14 years.

May 2006: The High Court sets Keel’s tariff at 12 years, after an application by Keel.

July 2009: He is moved to “open conditions”, essentially enabling him to spend much of his time out of the prison on licence.

August 2010: Keel is back on closed conditions.

December 2010: Released on licence.

October 2012: He is recalled on his life licence after what the Adver understands was a police chase. Keel was in the pursued car.

2014/15: Cycled between open and closed conditions in prison.

March 2017: Released on his licence

October 2017: Recalled back to prison. Released between then and early 2019.

March 2019: Alleged theft of two gold sovereign coins from a man in Swindon

August 2019: Admitted taking £300 of goods from Wilko. Ordered to pay compensation.

November 2019: Recalled to prison on licence for the fourth time.

December 2019: Pleads not guilty at Swindon Crown Court to stealing the two gold coins. Charge is dropped.

January 2020: Keel is sentenced to six weeks imprisonment at Swindon Magistrates’ Court for the attempted theft of some rum from Tesco, stealing steak from the Haydon Wick Morrisons and a £1 lemon drink from the Kingshill service station.