MICHELLE Stewart was only 17 when she was stabbed to death in a “premeditated and savage” attack minutes from her home village of Drongan, Ayrshire.

Her ex-boyfriend, John Wilson, was given a sentence of 12 years in April 2009, after admitting stabbing the teenager 10 times in the street.

But now, nine years on, Michelle’s family have learned that Wilson could be allowed back into the community before his minimum sentence is up.

Wilson has been approved for first grant of temporary release, which allows the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) to place the prisoner on various community-based options as part of a gradual rehabilitation.

However, the Stewart family say they have had little input into the release process and that they have been unable to restrict his relocation zone to exclude their local area, which has caused them considerable “anxiety and stress”.

Today, the family will meet Justice Minister Humza Yousaf to discuss current sentencing, parole and home release policy.

It coincides with the launch of their campaign, called Michelle’s Law, to strengthen the rights of victims of crime and their families.

Lisa Stewart, 39, Michelle’s sister, said her family was being overlooked “because we feel at the moment the judicial system is aimed at helping the criminal. We’re hoping that we can campaign to get victim’s rights taken into account not only for us, but others in similar situations.”

The campaign, which is supported by the Conservatives, is calling on the Scottish Government to explicitly require the safety and welfare of victims and their families to be taken into account when parole and early release are considered.

It is also calling for a “toughening up” of the Victim Notification Scheme (VNS) and an increase in the powers to impose “exclusion zones” on offenders around specific areas.

The Stewart family have also set up a petition calling for a halt to Wilson’s relocation to Ayrshire – specifically Ayr, Prestwick, Drongan and Mossblown – on his release, which has since receive nearly 4,500 signatures in one week.

Lisa lives in Ayr with her two children, while her father, Kenny Stewart, 58, is a local roofer. Brothers Steven, a policeman, and Kenneth, a nurse, also work locally.

She said: “Ayrshire is a small community. Although it takes into account several villages and towns, it is small. We have suffered enough with the loss of Michelle and what happened, without now having to see the person that did it to her on a frequent basis.”

Tom Fox, from the SPS, said the service could not comment on individual cases.

He said: “We have a well established process for preparing people for parole consideration, and part of that process is the testing of individuals with access to the community. This is about better informing the decision round about the risk presented by the individual. It’s a process that’s applied to every life-sentence prisoner in Scotland.”

Liam Kerr, the Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary, said: “Michelle’s Law will ensure that victims have more opportunities to input meaningfully into the parole process and that their concerns will carry greater weight. Our justice system must always put victims at its heart, treat families with care and dignity and make sure that the needs of the victim and their families are always considered first, not the perpetrator.”

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said:“I welcome the opportunity to meet with Michelle’s family and want to thank them for taking the time to speak to me. Michelle’s death was a terrible tragedy and I can only imagine how difficult it must be for her family.

“I fully understand the concerns that the family have and want to reassure them that I will keep an open mind on any proposals that come forward. I have said before that a priority for me is to ensure the voices of victims are heard in the justice system and today’s meeting will provide an opportunity to hear this perspective in relation to the justice process.”