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Great Bentley: Essex Boys’ murderer takes case back to court to seek judicial review

13:02 06 February 2013

Michael Steele

Michael Steele


ONE of the men convicted of a notorious triple gangland killing is today taking his fight for freedom back to the Royal Courts of Justice.


Michael Steele, of Great Bentley, near Colchester, is one of two men who was found guilty of what has become known as the Essex Boys’ murders.

The 70-year-old is renewing his application for leave to judicially review the Criminal Cases Review Commission’s (CCRC) decision not to refer his case to the Court of Appeal for a second time.

A spokesman for the Royal Courts of Justice said Steele is due to have a hearing before its Administrative Court.

Steele and co-convicted Jack Whomes, of Brockford, Mendlesham, have always denied they were involved in the shootings of Tony Tucker, 38, Pat Tate, 37, and Craig Rolfe, 26.

The trio of drug dealers were found dead in a Range Rover in Rettendon, near Chelmsford, on December 6, 1995.

The underworld killings led to films such as Essex Boys, starring Sean Bean, and Rise of the Footsoldier.

Steele and Whomes were convicted of murder at the Old Bailey in January 1998. Their convictions rested primarily on the evidence of petty criminal-turned-supergrass Darren Nicholls.

The prosecution claimed Steele was behind a series of drug-smuggling runs, one of which led to a row with Tate, Tucker and Rolfe, when a deal turned sour.

Steele and Whomes’s first appeal was turned down in 2004.

The pair were hoping the CCRC would refer the case back to the appeal court last year. However, last February the CCRC declined to do so.

Both men believe new expert mobile phone evidence will prove they were not involved in the murders.



  • Bonded by Blood is also a great film on this subject. Essex Boys is too "americanised" for my liking, but a good film none the less. There are many books also on this, and having read a few, I am of the opinion the Steele and Whomes are innocent, but fitted the profile of someone who 'could' have done it, so were used as scapegoats by the police.

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • For the record both films were quality. However Sean Bean with an Essex accent does not quite work. He should stick to the O2 adverts !

    Report this comment

    the opinion man

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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