'Essex Boys' murderer 'won't give up' in bid to clear his name

Jack Whomes arriving at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on February 22, 2006. Picture: JOHNNY

Jack Whomes has always maintained his innocence after being convicted of the 'Essex Boys' murders in 1995 - Credit: PA

The Suffolk brother of a man convicted of the triple killing known as the 'Essex Boys' murders has said he "won't give up until his name is cleared".

Jack Whomes, formerly of Brockford in Suffolk, has been deemed suitable for release by the Parole Board after serving 23 years in jail.

Whomes, alongside Michael Steele, was convicted of the murders of Tony Tucker, Pat Tate, and Craig Rolfe, who were found dead in a Range Rover in Rettendon, Essex, in 1995.

Whomes' brother John, who lives in Mendlesham, near Stowmarket, has said he was relieved to hear the Parole Board's decision.

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PHOTO SU ANDERSON
John Whomes, brother of convicted murderer Jack Whomes, advocates his broth

John Whomes has said his brother will be fighting to clear his name - Credit: Su Anderson

He also said he is "100%" confident that Jack will be successful in his bid to clear his name.

John said: "We're definitely happy for him. He can now go home and be with his mum, which is what he wants with Covid going on.

"But he will still keep fighting. Everything will carry on as normal. There is a CCRC decision pending. The truth is out there.

"He will clear his name, 100%. He won't give up until his name is cleared."

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Prosecutors said the killings took place over a drug deal and the case was dramatised in the 2000 film Essex Boys, starring Sean Bean.

Whomes, now 59, was handed a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years before being eligible for parole after being convicted of murdering the trio.

However, he saw his sentence reduced by two years in 2018 after the High Court ruled he had made "exceptional progress" in jail.

HANDOUT PHOTO - BEST QUALITY AVAILABLEUndated Essex Police handout photos of (l-r) Patrick Tate, A

Pat Tate, Tony Tucker and Craig Rolfe, who were found dead in a Range Rover in Rettendon, Essex - Credit: Essex Police

In the same year, it emerged the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) was reviewing new evidence related to the case after a fresh appeal was launched.

Whomes was moved to an open prison in 2019.

The Parole Board has now said former mechanic Whomes, who has always protested his innocence, is eligible for release, but must comply with strict licence conditions and restrictions.

A Parole Board spokesman said: "The panel carefully examined a whole range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as understood the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims."