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Review into Essex Boys murders rejected by High Court

Michael Steele (left), of Great Bentley, and Jack Whomes, of Brockford, jailed for the 1995 killing of three men in what became known as the

Michael Steele (left), of Great Bentley, and Jack Whomes, of Brockford, jailed for the 1995 killing of three men in what became known as the 'Essex boys murder'. Picture: Essex Police

Archant

A legal bid to review the “Essex Boys” murders by one of those convicted of the killings has been rejected by a judge.

(l-r) Patrick Tate, Anthony Tucker and Craig Rolfe, who all died in a 1995 triple gangland killing which came to be known as the (l-r) Patrick Tate, Anthony Tucker and Craig Rolfe, who all died in a 1995 triple gangland killing which came to be known as the "Essex boys murder". Picture: Essex Police

Michael Steele, from Great Bentley, was jailed in 1998 along with Jack Whomes from Brockford for the murder of Craig Rolfe, Tony Tucker and Pat Tate in 1995 – though both men have always protested their innocence.

The case became know as the “Essex Boys” after a 2000 film of the same name depicting the murders starring Sean Bean.

Last year the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) refused to send Steele’s case back to the Court of Appeal, following two failed appeals in 2006 and 2013.

However Steele challenged the CCRC decision, taking the matter to the High Court.

Yesterday Mr Justice Dove ruled the CCRC had not made any legal errors in reaching its decision, and that to re-open the case could be a “misuse” of “limited resources”.

He said “I am not persuaded that the arguments raised, even were they new, give rise to any real possibility that the conviction may not be upheld,” one of the key criteria for the CCRC to refer a case for review.

Pam Whomes, from Finningham, the mother of Jack Whomes, said the ruling would not impact on a separate appeal from her son.

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